Ministry of food and drug safety

Ministry of food and drug safety

home > Information > News&Notice > News&Notice
News&Notice|News&Notice|Information|Minisry of Food and Drug Safety

News&Notice

[Press Release, Oct, 21] MFDS issues advance notice on temporary designation of 9 substances including isotonitazene
  • Registration Date 2020-11-03
  • Hit 380
[Press Release, Oct, 21 / Unofficial translation]

□ The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS, Minister Lee Eui-Kyung) preannounced the “temporary narcotics designation” of five new substances including “isotonitazene” that are used in illicit drugs inside and outside the country and the re-designation of four substances including “deschloroketamine” following the expiration of designations.
※temporary narcotics designation system: a system that manages and controls certain non-narcotics in the same manner as narcotics for a defined period of time because they can be abused as alternatives to narcotics and pose risks to the public health.
※Substances pre-announced to be designated or re-designated as temporary narcotics


- newly designated(5 substances) : isotonitazene | furanylethylfentanyl | isobutyrylfentanyl | 1B-LSD | phenibut
- re-designated(4 substances) : | deschloroketamine | AL-LAD | 2C-N | LY2183240


[ Temporary narcotics classification system and control status ]

√ Classification of narcotics as Group 1 or Group 2 drugs, considering a drug’s effect on the central nervous system and similarity to narcotics, among other factors.
- (Group 1) Substances that affect the central nervous system, have similar structure and effect, and are highly likely to cause dependence and other physical or psychological harm (14 substances)
- (Group 2) Substances that can cause dependence and other physical or psychological harm (87 substances)

√ A total of 216 substances have been desiganted as “temporary narcotics” starting from 2011 under the temporary narcotics designation system. 115 substances among them, including “THF-F,” were designated as narcotics following the evaluation on the potential dependence.

○ The five newly-designated substances including “isotonitazene” are controlled not only in the U.S., the U.K., Japan and other countries but also in Korea. They had also been detected in crackdowns and other regulatory activities in Korea.
- “Isotonitazene,” among them, is an opioid with a chemical structure and pharmacological activity similar to that of the narcotic drug, “etonitazene.“ Reportedly, isotonitazene has been detected in a number of drug overdose deaths overseas.
○ Meanwhile, the temporary narcotics designation of “deschloroketamine“ and three other substances will expire on Dec. 7, 2020, which may lead to the abuse of such drugs as alternative drugs. Given these public health concerns, the four drugs are re-designated as temporary narcotics for the next three years.

□ Substances designated as temporary narcotics will be handled and managed in the same manner as for narcotic drugs from the date of the pre-announcement. Therefore, carrying, possessing, using, controlling, exporting, importing, manufacturing, trading, assisting in the trade of, giving or receiving temporary narcotics will be completely banned, and relevant substances can be seized.
○ Also, anyone who export, import, manufacture, trade, assist in the trade, give or receive Group 1 temporary narcotics after the preannouncement on the list of temporary narcotics will be punished by imprisonment with labor for an indefinite term or for not less than five years.
- A person who imports, exports or manufactures Group 2 temporary narcotics shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not more than 10 years or by a fine not exceeding 100 million won. Those who trade, assist in trade, give or receive Group 2 narcotics shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not more than five years or by a fine not exceeding 50 million won.

□ The MFDS stated that the pre-announcement will help block the distribution of new illicit drugs beforehand. The Minsitry also said it will cooperate with the prosecution, police, the Korea Customs Service, and other related agencies, continuing its efforts in protecting the public health from the harms inflicted by illicit drugs.
○ More details are available on the MFDS website (www.mfds.go.kr → Notice → Public Notice) or in the official gazette.
Attached File Attach all down

Division 국제협력담당관

Written by 김민주

Telephone 043-719-1565