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Sunflower & The Scientist

Entering NZ with medications...

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Any of you accustomed to going through customs in NZ...I'm reading that medications need to be in their original containers rather than in weekly pill containers?  I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to have to put 16 days worth of pills back in their original containers...or risk just taking the original containers and having them in my weekly containers. 

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I've never had them query them, but I have always taken the original containers with me just in case.

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My 2cents... just went through all this.... all meds must be in original container with pharmacy label stating name drug doctor etc. I was also told, NZ has clamped down on a whole slew of new drugs not allowed.

Your drugs must be declared (not doing that), but I have attended the pharmacy and obtained a printed list from pharmacy with pharmacy stamp, as per what I was told. (none of this makes sense to me, but I followed the rules).

One wonders how you do this for herbal/homeopathic drugs you take, or plain old Asprin?? No one can answer, but my pharmacist did include the Asprin on the official government sheet he made out. (which included the pharmacy address and numbers)

I honestly think this is overkill, and that the info was relayed via ill informed posters. The NZ govt site is self explanatory. Narcotics are a different story, and you must be able to prove your prescription via a doctors letter stating you are truly prescribed them. Although this too confuses me, because anyone can make up a doctors letter. How would someone thousands of miles away know it to be true.

My hard fast rule has always been "must be in original containers". Do we look like "mules"??? LOL, considering recent news.... anything is possible.........

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I flew into Queenstown a few years ago and I had blood pressure and cholesterol tablets.lucky they were in their boxes.

 I’ve never had problems with any other country.NZ customs form asks if you have medication. I ticked the yes box.

Boy what a hassle,They took me and my daughter into a room.they put gloves and masks on and searched us and our bags.

once they had the tablets they wanted to see a prescription,didnt have one.

They called the supervisor,he said because my name was on the boxes and he could identify the drugs he would over look this .

New Zealand customs and imagration can be overwhelming.

Leave them in their original packs and take some documentation.

Edited by Chiliburn

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We fly into Sydney and return home from Auckland,  will this be in issue either way? 

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The only thing you MUST be careful about when flying into Sydney is whether or not you are bringing things like open food products. They have VERY strict biosecurity rules. 

 

I didn't have anything open but still went to the line for declaring things. I got sniffed by a dog, asked a couple of questions and then off I went.

 

I think I got info on it when I applied for my Australian visa but in case you don't have it .... 

 

http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/arriving-english-factsheet.pdf

 

 

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In New Zealand, they were MUCH more concerned about my unopened and sealed can of declared macadamia nuts from Hawaii than they were of my medications. I carry by supplements (calcium, aspirin, multivitamins, etc.) all placed in one larger container and then weekly place them in the 7 day container. I take only one small medication and I do carry that bottle separate.

 

I got pulled aside to discuss the nuts...

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On 12/27/2018 at 9:16 PM, jshli said:

We fly into Sydney and return home from Auckland,  will this be in issue either way? 

Medication is a drug which is a controlled substance,so caution is always advised Doesn’t matter what country.

 Paracetamol is classed as a opium in some countries and you can be arrested. I think Singapore is one of those countries.

 Smaller airports seem to more over zealous.

just keep them in their boxes and have your documentation you’ll have no problems.

 

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4 hours ago, Chiliburn said:

Medication is a drug which is a controlled substance,so caution is always advised Doesn’t matter what country.

 Paracetamol is classed as a opium in some countries and you can be arrested. I think Singapore is one of those countries.

 Smaller airports seem to more over zealous.

just keep them in their boxes and have your documentation you’ll have no problems.

 

And declare them.

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On 12/29/2018 at 7:46 PM, Chiliburn said:

Paracetamol is classed as a opium in some countries and you can be arrested. I think Singapore is one of those countries.

 

Are you thinking of some other painkiller? I don't think that paracetamol has anything to do with opium/opiates.

 

However, codeine is a painkiller that's often mixed with paracetamol in some over-the-counter products, and codeine is definitely an opiate that can cause you difficulties in some countries - you definitely don't want to accidentally import it into the UAE, for example.

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12 hours ago, Globaliser said:

 

Are you thinking of some other painkiller? I don't think that paracetamol has anything to do with opium/opiates.

 

 

 

Paracetamol is acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol and other similar agents.  You're right that this medication is NOT an opioid.

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15 hours ago, epixx said:

 

Paracetamol is acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol and other similar agents.  You're right that this medication is NOT an opioid.

Well my facts aren’t 100% 

 But you you need to be cautious is what I meant.

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Nz Border protection staff are not interested in the Meds you may be carrying for your own health. Just follow the entry disclosure form you will be given either on board your aircraft or ship and you will be fine. We were asked once going into Sydney what meds we had and it took an age trying to remember what we had. These days as part of our travel documentation we have a list of all prescription and over the counter meds we are carrying and have it in our carryon bags just in case we are asked again. In nearly all instances if you offer it up to the Border Protection people they will wave you through. If they want to see what you have that's cool it will only take a few minutes.

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This is good stuff to know.  I had no idea they were this particular.  Thanks for the heads up.  I'm concerned as I take a medication that isn't well known and am wondering how much flack I will received and what I can do to minimize the hassles.  I will check with my pharmacy to see if I can get a copy of the prescription -- will that be acceptable?

 

And for those with supplements that have no prescription, is a list of them acceptable to NZ Customs people?

 

Thanks for all the help.  Ann

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14 minutes ago, DoulaAnn said:

This is good stuff to know.  I had no idea they were this particular.  Thanks for the heads up.  I'm concerned as I take a medication that isn't well known and am wondering how much flack I will received and what I can do to minimize the hassles.  I will check with my pharmacy to see if I can get a copy of the prescription -- will that be acceptable?

 

And for those with supplements that have no prescription, is a list of them acceptable to NZ Customs people?

 

Thanks for all the help.  Ann

That all sounds fine.

 

but

 

declare

 

declare

 

declare

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Just now, GUT2407 said:

That all sounds fine.

 

but

 

declare

 

declare

 

declare

 

I promise I will.  I'm a "rule follower" (as my husband will attest), so I will probably declare any mint candies in my purse.  🙂 

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5 minutes ago, DoulaAnn said:

 

I promise I will.  I'm a "rule follower" (as my husband will attest), so I will probably declare any mint candies in my purse.  🙂 

It always best, even if you’ve done something wrong, they’ll recognise you aren’t trying to smuggle something.

 

i also doubt you will have any medications they aren’t able to check up on, if they don’t already know it.

 

i was on some powerful opiates, never had a problem, but always declared them

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1 hour ago, DoulaAnn said:

This is good stuff to know.  I had no idea they were this particular.  Thanks for the heads up.  I'm concerned as I take a medication that isn't well known and am wondering how much flack I will received and what I can do to minimize the hassles.  I will check with my pharmacy to see if I can get a copy of the prescription -- will that be acceptable?

 

And for those with supplements that have no prescription, is a list of them acceptable to NZ Customs people?

 

Thanks for all the help.  Ann

 

Don't stress yourself. As I have said previously Border Protection people are not after you and your meds. I make a list of all meds prescription and over the counter which includes supplements and carry it in my carry on baggage. I have never actually had to produce it. I have been referred to customs for checking but that took about two minutes. In NZ Immigration clearance is normally done by NZ Customs and customs clearances by Bio Security Officers. What you probably aren't aware is that all passengers as soon as they enter the customs area are profiled by hidden experienced eyes just as they are in most countries. Innocent passengers have nothing to fear

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1 hour ago, Beanb41 said:

 

Don't stress yourself. As I have said previously Border Protection people are not after you and your meds. I make a list of all meds prescription and over the counter which includes supplements and carry it in my carry on baggage. I have never actually had to produce it. I have been referred to customs for checking but that took about two minutes. In NZ Immigration clearance is normally done by NZ Customs and customs clearances by Bio Security Officers. What you probably aren't aware is that all passengers as soon as they enter the customs area are profiled by hidden experienced eyes just as they are in most countries. Innocent passengers have nothing to fear

 

Thanks for the reassurance.  I fret about a lot of things.  🙂  Hopefully, you've made it where I won't on this one.

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It’s not an ordeal although I’m sure it sounds like it might be. I arrived in Christchurch, NZ by air from Sydney with friends waiting to collect me at the airport...farmer friends (luckily it was mostly padt their harvest but farms are never slow!) while my luggage was being completely unpacked but it wasn’t for my medicines. 

 

Although I was only aged 31 I had many prescriptions for a chronic condition so I was similarly concerned (alarmed!) pre-trip but researched using some WONDERFUL 😉 message boards on our sister site Independent Traveler (where I became a host not long after I returned from my holiday!!) and combined with my other reading  was advised to bring a list from my pharmacy of all current prescriptions and I kept everything in its proper containers. Even Tylenol. 

 

Guess what? No one asked to see my medicines or my list or anything. I listed anything that was requested on immigration forms but it was all as smooth as if I was walking through JFK at home. Or maybe not...sometimes they’re grumpy but I can’t really blame them....tough job but it’s mostly fine. 

 

In New Zealand, as I soon learned and has been mentioned here, was likely the great fruit, food, vegetable smuggling search and I get it. Especially as I was staying with farmers! The wrong kind of insect or parasite or whatever it is (clearly my farm days didn’t stick but I love them dearly my friends!) could potentially devastate flora/fauna and ecomonies and people, etc. you get the implication. Not good. 

 

And for we that have seen, experienced, loved NZ, Aussie and possibly Tassie too....no no that can never happen. Too beautiful amp wonderful and vital to this earth. 

 

Your RX medications are ok, your snacks are not. They have snacks....and more than you could have ever imagined. So, no worries. Get your pharmacy printout, pack your meds, fill in your declaration form and off you go. It’s gonna be amazing 😎

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On 1/31/2019 at 1:24 PM, DoulaAnn said:

 

Thanks for the reassurance.  I fret about a lot of things.  🙂  Hopefully, you've made it where I won't on this one.

Yeh don’t stress,just do your research and be prepared.

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Can declared items be in checked luggage? We do pick up checked luggage before going through customs correct?

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3 minutes ago, jammer5122 said:

Can declared items be in checked luggage? We do pick up checked luggage before going through customs correct?

Yes it can be in checked baggage but one runs a risk if one's bags go missing and one's meds with it. THe first item we put in our carry on is our meds in case the bags disappear. If meds that are declared are in ones carry on they can be shown to the customs officer rather than have ones bags turned over and the subsequent delays.

 

One can never take border officials for granted. 99% of the time they are great but that 1% when they get out of the bed the wrong way of have an argument at home they can be grumpy and officious.

 

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Thanks for the quick reply. I was only putting over the counter meds like cough drops, advil , tums, etc.  in checked bags and then coffee packets.

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