On Monday, October 15th 2018, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) of the United Arab Emirates released a statement detailing the requirements for traveling with medication. The Import of Personal Medication service was launched at Gitex 2018. The latest rules also refer to the Pharmacy Federal Law No 4 of 1983 and Narcotic Law 14 of 1995.
All tourists and residents (including transit travelers) entering the country must now obtain e-approval when traveling with medication across the border. Contrary to expectations, getting permission for traveling with medication is very simple and completely free.
Visitors and residents need to visit the website of the Ministry of Health and Prevention and submit an electronic form. The form can also be downloaded from the MoHAP app. Required verification details include:
- A doctor’s prescription
- A medical report by the concerned health authorities
- A copy of your passport or Emirates ID
Submissions will be reviewed by officials in the Registration and Drug Control Department and approved within one business day. At the point of entry, the medications will be checked by customs and a ministry inspector. Any medication that fails to meet requirements will be seized. Other than seizing, strict penalties are rare.
Passengers traveling with medication can carry one month of controlled or semi-controlled medicine or three months of regular or non-controlled medicine.
Embassies have been advised to inform their citizens of the new rules. Note that some medications that may be legal in some countries, may be banned in the UAE.
As a blanket rule, the UAE prohibits drugs, narcotics and psychotropic substances, as well as hazardous and inflammable chemicals. Such substances cannot be carried on person, in luggage or in medications passengers may be carrying. In such situations, punishment is stiff and includes imprisonment or deportation.