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Travellers risking fines and even imprisonment by taking medications abroad

14/06/2018

Travellers risking fines and even imprisonment by taking medications abroad

How often do you pack to go on holiday and include some prescribed medicines in your luggage? While it might not seem like a big deal, you could actually be breaking the law in the country you’re visiting and that’s why the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising British citizens to check the rules ahead of time.


Even painkillers that are commonly prescribed in the UK are classed as “controlled drugs” in some countries, which means holidaymakers could unwittingly find themselves in hot water abroad.


In Japan, for example, some common cold remedies are banned, while certain types of sleeping pills require a special licence in Singapore.  


The FCO warned that travellers could be slapped with a fine or even imprisoned if they break the rules.


With nearly half of the UK population currently taking prescribed medication, millions of individuals could potentially fall foul of foreign laws.


In China and Costa Rica, visitors are required to show an accompanying doctor’s letter with any medication they bring, while in Indonesia, codeine, sleeping pills and treatments for ADHD are illegal.


The FCO recommends that travellers check destinations on its own website’s travel advice pages or the Department of Health’s TravelHealthPro website.

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