UK: Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 Will Come Into Force May 26th

23 May 2016

The Table of Contents & Overview

Introductory Text



Psychoactive substances

2.Meaning of “psychoactive substance” etc

3.Exempted substances


4.Producing a psychoactive substance

5.Supplying, or offering to supply, a psychoactive substance

6.Aggravation of offence under section 5

7.Possession of psychoactive substance with intent to supply

8.Importing or exporting a psychoactive substance

9.Possession of a psychoactive substance in a custodial institution


11.Exceptions to offences

Powers for dealing with prohibited activities

12.Meaning of “prohibited activity”

13.Prohibition notices

14.Premises notices

15.Prohibition notices and premises notices: supplementary

16.Further provision about giving notices under sections 13 to 15

17.Meaning of “prohibition order”

18.Prohibition orders on application

19.Prohibition orders following conviction

20.Premises orders

21.Applications for prohibition orders and premises orders

22.Provision that may be made by prohibition orders and premises orders

23.Enforcement of access prohibitions

24.Access prohibitions: reimbursement of costs

25.Access prohibitions: exemption from liability

26.Offence of failing to comply with a prohibition order or premises order

27.Offence of failing to comply with an access prohibition, etc

28.Variation and discharge on application

29.Variation following conviction

30.Appeals against making of prohibition orders and premises orders

31.Appeals about variation and discharge

32.Nature of proceedings under sections 19 and 29, etc

33.Special measures for witnesses: England and Wales

34.Special measures for witnesses: Northern Ireland

35.Transfer of proceedings from youth court

Powers of entry, search and seizure

36.Power to stop and search persons

37.Power to enter and search vehicles

38.Power to board and search vessels or aircraft

39.Power to enter and search premises

40.Further provision about search warrants

41.Powers of examination, etc

42.Power to require production of documents, etc

43.Powers of seizure, etc

44.Excluded items

45.Further provision about seizure under section 43

46.Notices and records in relation to seized items

47.Powers of entry, search and seizure: supplementary provision

48.Offences in relation to enforcement officers

Retention and disposal of items

49.Retention of seized items

50.Power of police, etc to dispose of seized psychoactive substances

51.Forfeiture of seized items by court on application

52.Appeal against decision under section 51

53.Return of item to person entitled to it, or disposal if return impracticable

54.Forfeiture by court following conviction

Supplementary and final provisions

55.Application of Customs and Excise Management Act 1979

56.Offences by directors, partners, etc

57.Providers of information society services



60.Consequential amendments

61.Power to make further consequential amendments


63.Commencement and short title

The Act Full Text


HM Govt have also published 20 May 2016
Psychoactive Substances Act 2016: guidance for researchers

They have also published 20 May 2016
Circular 004/2016: Psychoactive Substances Act 2016


Also published is a  Psychoactive Substances Act: forensic strategy

A good first stop for an overview of the act has been compiled by the Scottish Drugs Forum


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