Many travelers must carry their medicines with them across international borders to treat chronic or serious health problems. However, each country has its own guidelines about which medicines are legal. Medicines that are commonly prescribed or available over the counter in the United States could be considered unlicensed or controlled substances in other countries. For example, in Japan, some inhalers and certain allergy and sinus medications are illegal. Also, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has strict narcotics laws that have landed many travelers in prison.
While rules vary from country to country, there can be serious consequences if you violate the laws of the country you’re visiting. These consequences can range from confiscation (removal) of your medicine, which could harm your medical treatment, to stiff penalties, including imprisonment on charges for drug trafficking.
1. The Pharmacy Federal Law No 4 of 1983 and Narcotic Law 14, of 1995, regulate the import of medicines (Narcotics / Psychotropic / General / and any controlled medicines) in to the UAE.
2. Majority of medicines which are used worldwide are available in community pharmacies and hospitals in the UAE.
3. Travelers carrying personal medicines are advised to seek permission from Registration and Drug Control Department, MOH, prior to traveling in to the UAE.
4. Any personal medicines carrying of by travelers will be subjected to inspection by the Ministry of Health Inspectors and Customs department at the port of entry in to the UAE.
Rules and Regulations for Personal carrying of Medicines (Narcotic, Psychotropic, CDA&CDB)
Registration and Drug Control Department, MOH have strict regulations for import of personal medications by travelers in to the UAE as follows:
1. Drugs listed in Schedule IV of Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 of UAE cannot be carried by international travelers in to the UAE, even if their use is permitted in the country of departure.
2. Narcotic drugs included in Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention of International Narcotic Control Board (INCB) cannot be carried by international travelers in to the UAE, even if their use is permitted in the country of departure.
3. Psychotropic substances included in Schedule I of the 1971 Psychotropic Convention cannot be carried by international travelers in to the UAE, even if their use is permitted in the country of departure.
4. All medicines, other than listed in the above paragraph 1, 2 and 3, of the 1961 Narcotic Convention and of 1971 Psychotropic Convention of International Narcotic Control Board (INCB), and medicines listed in Schedule I, II, Ill, V, VI, VII and VIII of the annex to Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 and the medicines listed in CDC, and CDR list by the Ministry of Health, UAE, can be included in the personal medicine according to the following procedures.
Procedures to be followed the by travelers entering in to or transiting through the UAE.
1. Controlled Medicines (Narcotic, Psychotropic, CDA and CDB
1 For carrying narcotic drugs with travelers who are coming in to or transit through UAE, requires a prior approval from the Registration and Drug Control Department, Ministry of Health.
2 The traveler should have in his/her possession the documents (in Arabic or English) mentioned below.
i. A valid medical prescription, if the original of the prescription is retained in the pharmacy that dispensed the preparation, the traveler should keep an attested copy of the prescription.
ii. Authenticated certificate and/or permit, from the health authority of the country of departure, confirming his/her legal authority to possess, for personal use, medical preparations mentioned therein.
iii. Amount of medicines carrying of by any travelers should not be exceeded for a period of 30 days of treatment.
3 The above documents should be in the traveler’s possession during the stay in the UAE, and should be available on request for presentation to the authorities.
4 The traveler shall be required to present the above documents to the customs authorities in the port of entry and get signed and stamped by the customs officer.
5. Transit travelers have to comply with the required procedures when entering and leaving the UAE.
2. Regular Medicines
Prescription only medicines (POM) Prescription only medicines (POW are medical preparations: not listed in Schedule IV of Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 of UAE , even if their use is permitted in the country of departure not included or containing any of the substances mentioned in the INCB conventions Controlled registered medicines mentioned in the MOH CDA and CDB list;
A traveler to the UAE can carry along with him/her the POM medicines for his/her personal use, for period of not more than three months consumption provided that he/she has to carry a valid medical prescription.
3. Carrying of non-registered medicines
It is prohibited by the UAE Federal Law no 4 for 1983 to bring non-registered medicines into UAE, therefore the travelers are not allowed to carry non-registered 1 banned medicines.
4. Carrying of Cancelled Medicines
Travelers are not allowed to carry cancelled medicines as these are considered to be banned for use in UAE.Cancelled Medicines are either; have been registered previously with the Ministry of Health but cancelled afterwards because of safety or quality defects have not been authorized to register or distribute.
5. Carrying of Herbal Medicines
The drugs listed in Schedule IV of Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 of UAE, are prohibited in the UAE, even if their use is permitted in the country of departure. For all other herbal medicines follow the same procedure for regular (POM) medicines as described in the section (b) above.
6. Medical Devices
Carrying of Medical devices containing any medicinal active ingredients mentioned in the above categories a, b, c, d and e should follow the respective procedure.
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