Precursor Chemical Program

The precursor chemical statute was enacted by the legislature in 1987 for the purpose of controlling the diversion of chemicals used in the illegal manufacture of drugs, primarily methamphetamine and amphetamine. In 1989, the statute was amended and requires anyone who sells, transfers, furnishes, or purchases certain precursor chemicals or certain laboratory apparatus to be regulated by DPS.

  "Chemical precursor" means:  

(A)  Methylamine
(B)  Ethylamine
(C)  D-lysergic acid
(D)  Ergotamine tartrate
(E)  Diethyl malonate
(F)  Malonic acid
(G)  Ethyl malonate
(H)  Barbituric acid
(I)  Piperidine

(J)  N-acetylanthranilic acid
(K)  Pyrrolidine
(L)  Phenylacetic acid
(M)  Anthranilic acid
(N)  Ephedrine
(O)  Pseudoephedrine
(P)  Norpseudoephedrine
(Q)  Phenylpropanolamine
(R)  Hypophosphorous acid
(S)  Red phosphorus


"Chemical laboratory apparatus" means any item of equipment designed, made, or adapted to manufacture a controlled substance or a controlled substance analogue, including:

(A)  a condenser
(B)  a distilling apparatus
(C)  a vacuum drier
(D)  a three-neck or distilling flask
(E)  a tableting machine
(F)  an encapsulating machine
(G)  a filter, Buchner, or separatory funnel

(H)  an Erlenmeyer, two-neck, or single-neck flask
(I)  a round-bottom, Florence, thermometer, or filtering flask
(J)  a Soxhlet extractor
(K)  a transformer
(L)  a flask heater
(M)  a heating mantel  or
(N)  an adaptor tube

Narcotics personnel with the Precursor Chemical/Laboratory Apparatus Section process one-time and annual applications, renew annual permits, enter sales transactions into an investigative database, gather intelligence from law enforcement contacts throughout the country, network with business representatives, and assist investigators nationwide by providing current information relating to methods, ingredients, places of purchase, contacts, etc., related to clandestine laboratory activity.

Generally, a person or business in this state must obtain a permit to take or place an order or to deliver or receive a precursor chemical or laboratory apparatus. The Department issues two types of permits for regulated precursor chemicals or laboratory apparatus (glassware), one to legitimate businesses (NAR-121), and the other for one-time transactions (NAR-120) where the items will be used solely for legitimate purposes. Each principal business location must have a separate permit. There is no fee for either permit. While the permit should not be displayed at a business location, it must be maintained so as to be promptly retrieved upon proper demand. The applications can be downloaded from this site but they must be printed, completed, and then mailed to our office. The forms must be originals; faxed and photocopies are not acceptable. The business permit will expire one year from the month of issuance. After the permit expires, the permit holder no longer has authority to receive or deliver a precursor or apparatus. A permit holder may not transfer or assign to another person a permit document or number, or an authority conferred by the permit.

A business must report to the director of the DPS Precursor Chemical/Laboratory Apparatus Section each incident in which the Texas distributor delivers a precursor chemical or laboratory apparatus to a person located inside or outside this state regardless of whether the recipient holds a permit or not. The report must be made not later than the seventh day after the distributor completed the transaction. The distributor must maintain this record for at least two years from the date of the transaction.

A business requesting a permit must meet and maintain security, recordkeeping, inventory, and reporting requirements. An applicant or permit holder must give written consent to inspect. The inspection will be conducted by a member of the Department who is assigned to the Narcotics Service. Failure to allow initial inspection may be grounds for denial of the permit application.

Questions about the permitting process, permit requirements, or the status of an application should be directed to or (512) 424-2481/2482.