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Private individuals carrying medicinal products in France

Publié le : vendredi 4 août 2017 |
Private individuals carrying medicinal products in France
Consommation de médicaments | © Philetdom | Fotolia
The quantity of medicinal products you may carry must not exceed the quantity required for personal use.

 

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General information

You carry medicinal products with you when you travel. The customs authorities help to ensure compliance with the regulations.
 

Warning: if the quantities carried exceed those required for personal use, importation is strictly prohibited.


Personal use corresponds to the length of treatment specified by the medical prescription or, where there is none, treatment for three months.
 

What is the definition of a medicinal product?

Article L 5111-1 of the French Public Health Code defines a medicinal product as « any substance or combination of substances presented as possessing curative or preventive properties with regard to human or animal diseases » (medical product by presentation) and « any substance or combination of substances that may be used in or administered to humans or animals in order to make a medical diagnosis or to restore, correct or modify their physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action » (medical product by function).
 

What are the rules governing the importation into France of medicinal products by a private individual?

Where the medicinal products are carried by the traveller him/herself for personal use, the conditions for importation are as follows.

Non-narcotic and non-psychotropic medicinal products

General rule for individuals from all countries:

  • Principle: the quantity carried corresponds to the length of treatment given on the prescription or, if there is none, treatment for three months.
  • Supporting document to produce for customs: the doctor’s prescription, production of which is not mandatory unless the length of treatment exceeds three months.
     

Narcotic drug or psychotropic substance

Private individuals may import narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances only if they carry them personally.
The quantities carried must be compatible with personal therapeutic use for the length of treatment given on the prescription or, where there is none, treatment for one month under normal conditions of use.


Article 75 of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 stipulates the applicable regulations according to the country of origin.
 

From a Schengen area member state

  • Principle: the quantity transported is compatible with personal therapeutic use.
  • Supporting document to produce for customs: the certificate issued by the competent authorities of the country of origin is mandatory.
    On shipment to a member state of the Schengen area, an individual residing in France must be able to produce the original prescription and a transport authorisation issued by the regional health agency with which the prescribing practitioner is registered. The authorisation is valid for 30 days within the limit of the maximum duration of prescription of the medicinal product carried.

 

The 26 Schengen area member states are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

 

From a country that is not a Schengen area member state

  • Principle: the quantity transported is compatible with personal therapeutic use.
  • Supporting document to produce for customs: the doctor’s prescription, production of which is mandatory.
    On export to a country that is not a Schengen area member state, an individual must be able to produce the original medical prescription. However, as of 1 August 2015, for medical products classed as narcotic drugs, the National Agency of Medicines and Health Products Safety (Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé, ANSM) will issue transport certificates only if the destination country requires a certificate from the competent authorities of the patient’s country of residence for entry into its territory. These certificates will be issued for the quantities carried corresponding to a length of treatment that does not exceed the maximum authorised duration of prescription (transport certificate issued by the ANSM’s narcotic drugs/psychotropic substances department).

 

Auteur : E/2 - Prohibitions et protection du consommateur