Reference samples are essential in laboratory analysis of drugs and precursors. They are used not only for reliable and accurate identification of drugs but can also be used to determine the purity of the drug in a seized material.

Reference samples of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors under international control are made available in small quantities (usually in the range of 20-50 mg) to national drug testing laboratories in countries with limited resources and actively participating in the UNODC International Collaborative Exercises (ICE) programme.

Emerging national drug testing laboratories can also request for assistance by sending an official letter (or email) with a specific list of drugs and required quantities to the below address/email. All requests would be considered and subsequent procedures would be further communicated.

Laboratory and Scientific Section
Research and Trend Analysis Branch
Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs (DPA)
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
P.O. Box 500, A-1400 Vienna, Austria
Fax: (43-1) 26060 5967
Telephone: (43-1) 26060 4303



After receiving positive confirmation for the provision of reference samples, please obtain an original import certificate (no photocopy, scanned copy or fax will be accepted) issued by the Competent National Authority under the International Drug Control Treaties in your country. The list of Competent National Authorities under the International Drug Control Treaties can be obtained in this website.

Please note that the following information must be reflected in the import certificate:

• The name of the Exporter on the Import Certificate must be written as follows:

Laboratory and Scientific Section
Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Wagramerstrasse 5
1400 Vienna

• The import certificate must contain a CLEAR STREET ADDRESS and the responsible person's name, to whom the requested sample(s) should be delivered ( NOT A POST OFFICE BOX), and a validity from three to six months, thus allowing ample time to obtain the export certificate from the Austrian authorities and to arrange for the despatch of the samples.

• "Shipment by Air" should be indicated on the import certificate.

• The appropriate port-of-entry for customs clearance purposes should be specified.

• A fax number or e-mail address, should be provided, if available.

• An import certificate which does not contain an appropriate address or delivery address, will not be honoured.

After obtaining the import certificate, please email a scanned copy to the Laboratory and Scientific Section before sending the original certificate by post. This will enable us to check the certificate and expedite the process to obtain an export certificate from the Austrian authorities.