Personal licences

Travellers who are carrying controlled drugs from the UK, or into the UK for their own personal use may need a personal licence.

Travellers will require a personal export or import licence if:

  • they are travelling with controlled drugs listed under Schedules 2, 3, 4 Part I and 4 Part II to The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 for three calandar months or more
  • are carrying more than three months' supply of controlled drugs listed under Schedules 2, 3, 4 Part I and 4 Part II to The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 

The most commonly used drugs and the Schedules to The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 they are listed under can be found at the controlled drugs list Please note this list is not exhaustive. If the controlled drug you wish to travel with is not listed, please contact the Drugs Licensing & Compliance Unit for advice.

Please apply for a personal licence at least ten working days before your travel date.

 Overseas applicants

If you are applying from overseas for an import licence you should allow more time for your application to be processed and for the licence to be posted to you. We advise you not to make fixed travel arrangements before receiving the licence.

Documents required to obtain a licence

You will need to provide the following:

Travelling for less than three months and Schedule 5 drugs

If you are travelling for less than three months and you are carrying less than three months' supply of prescribed controlled drugs listed under Schedules 2, 3, 4 Part I and 4 Part II to The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 you will not need a personal import or export licence to enter or leave the United Kingdom. 

If you are carrying prescribed drugs listed under Schedule 5 to The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 you will not need a personal import or export licence to enter or leave the United Kingdom.

However, in either case we advise you to obtain a letter from your prescribing doctor or drug worker, which should confirm your name, travel itinerary, names of prescribed controlled drugs, dosages and total amounts of each to be carried.

If you are carrying prescribed medication which is not a controlled drug you are also advised to obtain the above letter.

In either case, the personal licence or doctor’s letter should ordinarily be carried in your hand luggage along with the drugs. But as amounts will vary from person to person please always check with your carrier in advance of your travel date that carrying the entire amount of your medication in your hand luggage is allowed.

Regulations in other countries

Other countries may have their own import regulations for controlled drugs and prescription medicines. We strongly advise you to check this with the UK-based representatives of the country or countries that you are travelling to or through. 

Please find a list of contacts for Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions.

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