Import and export licences

Companies are now required to apply for imports or exports of controlled drugs and precursor chemicals via the National Drug control System (NDS) Applications submitted from 15 November 2010 are subject to Fees

Apply for a domestic licence

A company or other organisation that intends to import or export a controlled drugs and precursor chemicals will need the relevant domestic licence before they can apply for an import/export licence. They will also need a National Drugs control System account to apply for any import/export licences.

See the Controlled drug domestic licences section for more information and an application form.

Apply for an import or export licence

See the National Drugs control System section for more information and how to apply for an account.

All companies are now required to apply for import and export licences using NDS. Paper licences are no longer accepted by the Home Office.

Restriction on the export of Controlled Drugs to specific destination countries.

Exporters should be aware on 20 December 2011 the European Union adopted a new EU-wide control on the export of certain drugs usable in execution by lethal injection.

These controls which came into force on 21 December 2011 were adopted as an amendment to Annex III of Council Regulation (EC) 1236/2005 concerning trade in certain goods which could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (the so-called “Torture Regulation”).

As a result of these EU imposed controls, exporters need to seek appropriate permission from national export control authorities to export to any destination outside the EU ‘short and intermediate acting barbiturate anaesthetic agents including, but not limited to’ the following Controlled Drugs:

  • Amobarbital (CAS RN 57-43-2)
  • Amobarbital sodium salt (CAS RN 64-43-7)
  • Pentobarbital (CAS RN 76-74-4)
  • Pentobarbital sodium salt (CAS 57-33-0)
  • Secobarbital (CAS RN 76-73-3)
  • Secobarbital sodium salt (CAS RN 309-43-3)

Exporters are required to consultation against the UK Strategic Export Control Lists when exporting these drugs to specific countries. 

Interim policy for imports of oxycodone into the United Kingdom

The Home Office intends to hold a second consultation on the government's policy on the import of oxycodone to the UK. The consultation, which will be launched in spring 2013 and will run for 12 weeks, will invite comments on six policy options for the licensing of imports of oxycodone in the UK. Two of the options are new and were not subject to the first consultation exercise.

The interim policy on oxycodone remains in force. The UK will allow the import of oxycodone from within the EEA for re-export only. Small amounts may be imported from worldwide locations for research purposes.

Export Declaration

Companies holding blanket export licences should then complete an export declaration form immediately following each shipment. This should be sent to our contact address.

Download the export declaration form.

HM Revenue and Customs


Without the appropriate licences goods could be seized by HM Revenue and Customs. For more information visit the HM Revenue and Customs website

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