Yesterday I saw the movie The Terminal (2004). In one scene there is a russian guy taking medicines to his father but he stopped by customs. Vicktor Navroski deal customs those are for goat, then he allowed to take drugs with him.

So why don't animal drugs need permission at airports?

  • I think you'll have to narrow this question down to single countries to make it answerable.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 15:53
  • 2
    @JoErNanO the problem is not narrowing down, as airport regulation in most western countries' airports are converging. The problem with the question is the assumption that the movie reflects reality. Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 17:25
  • Which drugs we're talking about? You can take legal medicine with you. Customs may ask you what kind of medicine you take and see how you behave. If they believe you'e saying truth, they won't ask any more questions, whatever you could have. If it's illegal drug, they've dogs for that who can sniff that.
    – kenorb
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 9:03

2 Answers 2


Drug are not universally forbidden. Any drug that is normally controlled in the country you're going to is only allowed in if you meet the controls. Some human medicine is sold "over the counter" (that is, without controls) - aspirin, for example. You can freely bring that into another country where it is also sold freely. Others are controlled in some way - only sold to those with a prescription, for example. When you bring such drugs in, you need to have the prescription and it needs to be for you. Part of the control process is that you're not just allowed to bring, say, heart medicine for another person it wasn't prescribed to.

Vet medicines are typically far less controlled. So by labelling or just saying the medicines were for an animal, he was saying they were in a less controlled category. He could have said they were aspirin and if they looked like it, he might have got away with that. Of course, if anyone tested and became aware he was lying, he would have a much bigger problem. That's why it's a good movie scene, because it establishes a character as a confident liar and a risk taker who gets away with things.

It's not a recommended strategy for real people, especially ones who don't know the appearance of the medication they are pretending to carry.


It is a movie ...

BUT ... seriously.

If you need to travel with medicine, for human or animals (if you travel with your pet), you should always have the doctor (veterinarian) prescription with you, always carry the drugs in their original containers.

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