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Seizures data (SZR)

The tables in this section monitor over time the number of drug seizures and quantities seized by law enforcement agencies (mainly police and customs officials), figures that available for many countries historically over the longer term. Tables include data from the EU member states, Croatia, Turkey and Norway.

Tables SZR-1 to SZR-18 show reported drug seizures by country, where data are available, for the major drug types of interest by both numbers of seizures and quantities seized.

Summary points


  • Despite annual fluctuations, the overall trend in the number of seizures of cannabis resin is increasing steadily over the period 2003 to 2008 in Europe. The quantity seized has been on the increase since 2006, but 2008 interceptions are still around 17 % less than the record level reported in 2004. In 2008, about half of the total number of cannabis resin seizures and three quarters of the quantity seized continued to be reported by Spain (see Table SZR-1 and Table SZR-2).
  • The number of herbal cannabis seizures in Europe has increased steadily since 2003, more than doubling by 2008 (see Table SZR-3), The quantity of herbal cannabis seized, except for 2004–05 when it decreased to about 65 tonnes, has remained relatively stable since 2003 at just above 90 tonnes (see Table SZR-4). Generally, the United Kingdom is the EU Member State reporting the most seizures of herbal cannabis, accounting for approximately half of the total number of seizures since 2005, has not yet reported data for 2008. Turkey reported a record amount of almost 12 000 seizures in 2008. Since 2003, the number of seizures of cannabis plants has been steadily increasing, 2008 volume representing an increase of more than 50 % on that reported in 2006 (see Table SZR-5). Countries consistently report quantity seized either as the number of plants or as an estimate of the weight in kilos. The number of plants seized has been relatively stable between 2005 to 2007, however the number fell more than 50 % in 2008, compared with previous years. The weight of plants seized has been steadily increasing over the period 2003 to 2008 (see Table SZR-6).


  • Data for the years 2003 to 2008 indicate an initial fall in the number of seizures, followed by a steady increase since 2003 (see Table SZR-7). Although the quantity of heroin intercepted in the European Union has shown an approximate increase of 8.5 % between 2006 and 2008, the overall trend for 2003 to 2008 is declining. For 2008, Turkey reported five times the quantity of heroin it reported seized in 2003 (see Table SZR-8).


  • The number of cocaine seizures has been on the increase over the period 2003–08 in Europe, and more notably since 2003. Seizures of cocaine reported in 2008 is almost double that reported in 2003. The quantity of cocaine seized has also been increasing, but with regular fluctuations. In 2005 and 2006, the total quantity seized in Europe reached record levels. Total seizures reported in Europe dropped in 2008 to approximately 77 tonnes, with seizures in Portugal dropping more than 27 tonnes while those in Spain dropped more than 11 tonnes (see Table SZR-9 and Table SZR-10).


  • Over the period 2003–08, the number of seizures has been fluctuating around a stable trend although compared to 2003 they remained at higher levels while the amount of amphetamines intercepted has shown a general upward trend, and reached a new high in 2008 (see Table SZR-11 and Table SZR-12).


  • Between 2003 and 2008, the number of methamphetamine seizures steadily increased. Over the same period, quantities seized increased to a record in 2007 and decreased slightly in 2008, mainly due to a decline in the amount recovered in Norway, the main seizing country in Europe for this drug (see Table SZR-17 and Table SZR-18).


  • The number of ecstasy seizures reported in Europe, after a stabilisation between 2003 and 2006, has been slightly declining since then, while quantities seized declined overall between 2003 and 2008 (see Table SZR-13 and Table SZR-14).

Hallucinogenic substances

  • The current situation is unclear as the United Kingdom, that usually reports a relatively large number of seizures and quantity seized, has yet to report. Nevertheless, the data available indicates an increase between 2003 and 2008, while quantities, after a peak in 2005 due to record seizures in the United Kingdom, have been fluctuating at much lower levels over the period 2003-08. However, as yet there is no suggestion that the drug is experiencing a revival in popularity (see Table SZR-15 and Table SZR-16).

Page last updated: Thursday, 01 July 2010