Crossing border with medicines

Transporting medicines remains key issue within Customs Union and beyond, including via international post

By Marianna Nedomskaya



On going abroad, we often take our medicines with us. As a rule, travellers can easily take medicines for their personal use, as long as they aren’t prohibited or marked as psychotropic or narcotic. Of course, those which contain ‘prohibited substances’ need special permission. At first sight, everything is clear, but many people still have concerns over how to bring medicines into or out of Belarus, transporting them via the Customs Union territory, or via international post. The Chief Inspector of the Customs Clearance and Regimes Department of the State Customs Committee’s Agency for the Organisation of Customs Control, Yekaterina Shatokhina, tells us more.

I’ve bought biologically active food additives in Belgium. Can I bring them into Belarus?

Yes. You can. You need no special documents.

I’m going to Europe, taking my anti-depressants, which contain psychotropic substances. Do I need permission from certain state bodies or is it enough to have my prescription with me?

You have the right to carry drugs for your personal use, containing narcotic and psychotropic substances. However, only limited quantities are allowed (enough for personal purposes). In line with national legislation, enough doses can be carried for administration over a period of three days, in addition to 90 single doses of psychotropic substances. Moreover, the corresponding medical prescriptions are required. Those containing narcotic or psychotropic substances should be declared on entering Belarus.

Does this mean that we can now send medicines via the international post, across Customs Union territory, without paying customs fees?

Yes, as long as those medicines do not contain psychotropic or narcotic substances. Moreover, their value should not exceed 120 euros (in equivalent); otherwise, a fee is due. According to international postal requirements, the parcel should weigh no more than 30kg.

It’s also necessary to remember that these are customs bodies decide which products are for personal use and which are not. Medicines which come in their own individual container packaging are usually beyond suspicion but, if a parcel contains 50 such containers, it may not appear to be for a single person’s use. In this case, you must prove that it is for personal use. Everything depends on the particular medicine. Customs officers are unlikely to be wary if they see 50 packs of activated carbon, since it is often used in large quantities.

Can I bring herbal preparations from Norway without permission?

If these herbs are not on the ‘prohibited’ list (whose movement via the border is restricted or prohibited), then you can. However, sending plants or seeds (in any condition) by post is banned.

Where can we learn which medicines are subject to restriction or prohibition within the Customs Union?

Study the instructions on your medicine to see whether it contains psychotropic or narcotic substances. There is a full list of such substances (over 300 in total) on which restrictions or bans are applied regarding transporting them in or out of Customs Union territory. Medicines are listed under their international non-patented names, which may differ from their trading names.

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