Anabolic steroids are controlled as Class C substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. There is no possession offence but it is illegal to manufacture, supply or possess/import/export steroids with the intent to supply, without a licence to do so. The maximum penalty for these offences is 14 years in prison and/or a heavy fine.
Class A includes cocaine, diamorphine (heroin), 3, 4 Methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (‘ecstasy’), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and methylamphetamine.
Class B includes amphetamine, barbiturates, cannabis, codeine and methylphenidate.
Class C includes benzodiazepines, buprenorphine, anabolic steroids, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and ketamine.
THIS SYSTEM OF CLASSIFICATION SERVES TO DETERMINE THE PENALTIES FOR THE POSSESSION AND SUPPLY OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES. THE CURRENT MAXIMUM PENALTIES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
CLASS A DRUGS
For possession – up to 7 years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine; for supply – up to life imprisonment and/or fine.
CLASS B DRUGS
For possession – up to 5 years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine; for supply – up to14 years’ imprisonment and/or fine.
CLASS C DRUGS
For possession – up to 2 years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine; for supply – up to 14 years’ imprisonment and/or fine. (The possession offence does not apply to IPEDs)
The “supply” offence can mean something as simple as sharing IPEDs with someone else, even if you don’t sell them.
Changes in the law in 2012 made it illegal to import steroids by ordering them through mail order or online and having them delivered to you from outside the UK.
- The phrase “medicinal product” has now been removed from the legislation. This removes the ambiguity around the interpretation of that phrase within the law
- Import restrictions are now in place for all image and performance enhancing drugs covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971). Following advice from the ACMD, anyone wishing to import these drugs from outside the UK will have to do so in person (“personal custody”). It will no longer be permitted to buy steroids and associated drugs from outside the UK, through internet and mail order sites and have the products delivered.