Portugal is a transshipment point for drugs originating from South America and West Africa destined for other European countries, but is neither a center of drug production nor a significant source of drugs destined for the United States. Revenues garnered from the narcotics trade in Portugal are repatriated to traffickers in South America. In addition to direct shipments from South America, traffickers consistently use former Portuguese colonies Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde as transshipment, refueling, and storage points for cocaine-laden vessels from South America en route to Europe. In 2016, Portuguese authorities continued to combat the transshipment of cocaine through their borders, and MDMA (ecstasy), hashish, and heroin remained readily accessible within the country.
Portugal's law enforcement cooperation with the United States and other international partners to combat drug trafficking continues to be outstanding. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Portuguese Judicial Police (PJ) conducted multiple, successful coordinated investigations throughout 2016.
The Government of Portugal vigorously investigates and prosecutes drug traffickers traversing Portuguese territory. It also continues to enforce and update 2013 legislation criminalizing the possession and sale of certain analogue chemicals used to produce new psychoactive substances, including synthetic cathinones commonly referred to as "bath salts." A customs mutual assistance agreement is in force between Portugal and the United States, as are protocols to the 2003 U.S.-EU extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements. Lisbon is also home to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Portugal is also a member country of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Center-Narcotics (MAOC-N), headquartered in Lisbon. The United States is a permanent observer to MAOC-N.
Portugal focuses much of its drug control effort on treatment and prevention. Since 2001, personal use quantities of drugs have been decriminalized. Drug possession is still prohibited, however, and those individuals found by law enforcement to have "personal use" amounts are referred to the Drug Addiction Dissuasion Commission, consisting of multi-disciplinary teams charged with assessing users and deciding the appropriate sanction and referral to educational or treatment programs. The Portuguese Ministry of Health's Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction operates numerous drug treatment centers. Universal drug use prevention is part of the Portuguese school curriculum. Law enforcement entities patrol the areas surrounding schools to prevent and protect students from drug trafficking, as part of the "Safe Schools" initiative. Law enforcement also participates in community awareness and training activities.
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|Title Annotation:||Country Reports|
|Publication:||International Narcotics Control Strategy Report|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2017|