World Tourism Day - INCB on Travelling with Controlled Substances

Vienna, 27 September 2017 - On the occasion of World Tourism Day, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) would like to take the opportunity to remind Governments and the general public of the international framework for travellers carrying small quantities of internationally controlled medicines.

Within the framework of the international drug control system, Governments can introduce special provisions in their national regulations allowing travellers to carry small quantities of preparations containing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under international control for personal medical use. In this regard, the Board recalls the International Guidelines for National Regulations Concerning Travellers Under Treatment with Internationally Controlled Drugs prepared by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and INCB . These guidelines aim at supporting competent national authorities in establishing such a regulatory framework. (The Guidelines are available in all United Nations official languages on the Board's website).

Travellers who wish to continue their treatment in the countries that they visit need to be aware of different national requirements. In response to the growing mobility of travellers who are under treatment and concerns expressed by many of them, INCB strives to provide the necessary assistance and disseminate the latest information available on varying national requirements. Such information, as received from Governments, including documentation required for carrying medical preparations containing internationally controlled substances (e.g., medical prescriptions), qualitative and/or quantitative restrictions (e.g., doses sufficient for a specific treatment period) and contact details of competent national authorities is published on the INCB website (

One challenge in providing information on national requirements is that many countries have not submitted such information to INCB, while others have not updated the information in over a decade. The Board, therefore, invites all State parties to the 1961 and 1971 Conventions to notify it, through their competent authorities, of restrictions currently applicable in their national jurisdictions to travellers being treated with medicines containing internationally controlled substances. Updates on this matter support the well-being of patients carrying controlled substances for medical purposes into another country while travelling.

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