Travellers to Qatar must have prescriptions for medicines: official

Travellers coming to Qatar should ensure that the medicines they carry for personal use are not banned in the country and should be accompanied by a proper medical prescription.

“The General Authority of Customs maintains close co-operation with the Ministry of Public Health in preventing the entry of prohibited drugs and medicines,” Ajab Manur al-Qahtani, director of Hamad International Airport (HIA) Customs Department, told local Arabic daily Al Sharq.

Physicians posted at all the entry points

Physicians are posted at all the entry points of the country including HIA and HIA Air Cargo, and Abu Samra Land Border, Gulf Times reports.

The pharmacy and Drug Control Department is the entity that decides on the medicines not allowed into the country unless accompanied by a proper medical prescription.

“It is necessary that every traveller entering the country with drugs or medicines should declare them to the customs officers, whatever their type might be. These will be shown to the physician on duty to ensure whether they are compliant with the health regulations in Qatar,” the official explained.

According to al-Qahtani, there are certain types of medications that are listed within the schedule of restricted and banned drugs, and some of them should be accompanied by an approved medical prescription.

The Pharmacy and Drug Control Department receives the latest updates of all medications produced around the world.
“Sometimes, a traveller has drugs approved by a doctor but brings a large quantity. In such situations, the Pharmacy and Drug Control Department will decide whether to allow the entry of the said quantity or not,” he said.

He said the main violations in this respect was regarding some travellers carrying Tramadol pills, listed as narcotics, and similar banned drugs, as the number of such violations was 731 from January until October 3 this year.

Herbal medicines found with travellers without proper medical prescriptions are referred to the Ministry of Public Health.

Some medicines, which are over-the-counter in other countries, are also considered controlled items in Qatar as they produce effects that contravene local laws.

In the past, several passengers have been detained at Hamad International Airport for not carrying prescriptions with medicines.

Here, you can find our detailed guide on procedures and regulations for carrying medicines to Qatar.

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