Taking medicines abroad

You can normally take all prescription and self-administered medicines with you when you travel.


Before your trip, you should determine any restrictions as there is variation between countries in terms of the quantities and types of medication you may bring with you. In addition to this, it is a good idea to find out about any rules and restrictions in any countries of transit.

In some cases, an import license or certificate from an authority may be required, for example. You can request information on the restrictions on importing medicine from the customs authorities of the target country.  You can also request the information from the target country’s contact point for cross-border health care or the Finnish embassy.

When travelling abroad, please note the following:

  • Bring with you a patient guide printed out by your doctor or a summary sheet that you can print out yourself from the My Kanta service. If necessary, you can also obtain one at a pharmacy or health care unit. You can also request a printout in English.
  • Keep your medicines in their original packages and pack them in your hand luggage.
  • Consider whether you will need to bring information on your diagnosis or a copy of your medical history translated into English or the language of the country of destination.
  • Diabetics should bring a certificate on the necessity of needles.

Taking narcotics and medication that effect the central nervous system abroad

A Schengen certificate is required if you travel in the Schengen area and are carrying medicines that are classified as narcotics – primarily medicines that affect the central nervous system (CNS agents) – or psychotropic medicines. The certificate is to demonstrate the necessity of the medication.

The Schengen Area includes Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Austria, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Malta and Switzerland.

In Finland, a Schengen certificate can be obtained at a pharmacy. To obtain the certificate you must present the medicine package, the prescription and a travel document (passport or ID card)

If you are unsure as to whether or not you need a Schengen certificate for your medicine, you can check the matter with a pharmacy or the Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea).