4

My mother is going to the USA in autumn by plane. Unfortunately she is dependent on medicals that contain an opium derivate. In many countries it is sufficient to bring a declaration of her doctor in English language that she owns and uses the opiates legally. She traveled a lot and never got any problem.

The homepage of the German US embassy states that:

  • Medication should be transported in the original packaging
  • Only the necessary amount of medication should be brought
  • A prescription of a doctor - addressed to a CBP Officer - is required

Since the US is very strict on entry requirements, I'd like to know:

  • What else to consider when taking opiates to the US by plane?
  • Are there any other possible difficulties to expect when following the above guideline?

(In case it does matter, she will fly with Lufthansa from Frankfurt Main / Germany (FRA) --- San Francisco / USA (SFO))

  • 2
    What's the specific drug? Some opiates are completely banned in the US and cannot be possessed even with a prescription. fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/legislation/ucm148726.htm – Nate Eldredge Jul 13 '16 at 21:35
  • @NateEldredge Thanks for the link! Does that mean that the opiates listed under Part B - Opiates and Opiate derivatives are completely banned or that a prescription is needed to import them? – user937284 Jul 14 '16 at 8:40
  • 1
    I'm not sure where on that page you're looking. Schedule I is the list of completely banned drugs. The others are generally usable by prescription. – Nate Eldredge Jul 14 '16 at 11:58
  • @NateEldredge Okay, got it. Thx – user937284 Jul 20 '16 at 14:01
5

According to US Customs and Border Protection, you don't need "a prescription of a doctor addressed to a CBP officer" if the medicine is in its original packaging with the prescription information printed on the packaging:

Prescription medications should be in their original containers with the doctor's prescription printed on the container. It is advised that you travel with no more than personal use quantities, a rule of thumb is no more than a 90 day supply. If your medications or devices are not in their original containers, you must have a copy of your prescription with you or a letter from your doctor. A valid prescription or doctors note is required on all medication entering the U.S.

In the US, the prescription information is typically affixed to the packaging with a self-adhesive label, so such a label ought to be fine; it is unlikely that anyone would require the information to be printed literally and directly on the container.

  • Thanks for your answer! In this special case it is a liquid in a simple brown little bottle with a handwritten label. You often find this in Germany when your drug is being produced/mixed by the drug store staff. Additionally you have a prescription from your doctor. – user937284 Jul 13 '16 at 21:49
  • 2
    Then bringing the prescription along with the hand-labeled bottle should be enough, but it would be more certain to be acceptable if she had a letter from the doctor or pharmacist that also explained that the medicine was prepared by hand. – phoog Jul 13 '16 at 21:55
  • Sounds like a good advise. Thank you very much. – user937284 Jul 13 '16 at 21:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.