Clearing Prescription Medicine

To expedite the customs clearance procedure and avoid costly delays, do not include prescription medication in your household goods shipment. Instead, carry all prescription drugs with you as you enter the country. Alternately, you should mail the medication into the States.

The United States limits the importation of prescription drugs for personal use to a supply of three months or less. Do not consolidate your prescription medications into one container. Instead, keep your medicine in separate vials clearly labeled (in English) with the name of the medication and prescribing doctor, the dosage, and directions for use. Medication mailed into the States is routinely inspected.

If your medication does not contain sufficient documentation, the product will be detained until you provide the required paperwork. It also is helpful to obtain a letter from your doctor explaining the medications prescribed. Such a letter also could prove invaluable in an emergency situation. This type of documentation is especially important for those individuals such as diabetics whose medication is administered via hypodermic injection.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibits the importation of drugs it has determined to be dangerous or fraudulent. It maintains information on its policies and prohibitions online.

You can also contact a local U.S. consulate or embassy or the U.S. Customs Service to discuss the importation of prescription medicine.

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