Q. Can I take medications on board or into foreign countries?

Whilst there are no issues bringing your medication on board some prescriptions, over the counter drugs, complementary therapies and other medicines that are purchased in the UK may be illegal in the United Arab Emirates and are therefore banned in Dubai. Japan also has rules regarding such medication. You can find a list of controlled medicines on the Ministry of Health website.

Codeine, for example, is banned and no products containing codeine, which may include paracetamol, may be imported or sold in the United Arab Emirates. An Import Certificate from the Japanese Authorities would be required in order to take such products into Japan.

An Import Certificate from the United Arab Emirates Authorities would be required in order to take such products into the countries however this does not guarantee the products will be permitted.

Penalties can be severe if banned substances are found when entering these countries. 

If you are taking any medication and are in any doubt then pleas contact the United Arab Emirates London Embassy on +44 (0) 207 486 6281* or the Japanese Embassy on +44 (0) 207 465 6500* prior to your arrival. For general information about travel to the United Arab Emirates you may also check for further information at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/united-arab-emirates/entry-requirements#Medication.

Anyone travelling with medications and/or syringes should carry a prescription with them. All medications should be kept in their labelled dispensing bottles or packages. If the medications are "controlled" or injectable drugs it is also advisable to carry a Doctors letter.

For United Arab Emirates, it is also essential to carry a prescription for any medication as well as a medical report if you are travelling with syringes or other medical equipment. 

*Charges may apply








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