Guide to Ship Prescription Drugs Internationally

Sending prescription drugs internationally: Europe, UK, and overseas

Sending prescription drugs through the post or courier can be very tricky because this is a strictly regulated item. Every country and logistics provider has its own regulations for shipping over-the-counter medication or prescription drugs. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the rules and explain how international shipments of medication work.

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Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines are usually restricted or prohibited items for shipping. Please note that insurance may not apply.


Regulations for shipping prescription drugs internationally

When sending prescription medication via courier or postal services, it’s important to know the restrictions that will apply to your shipment. Even though the specific rules may differ for each country or courier company, these are a few general rules:

  • Before booking your shipment, you need to check whether the medication you want to send is allowed in the origin and delivery countries. It may be that certain pills are considered over-the-counter products in one country but are strictly regulated in another.
  • Checking the import/export regulations of the countries is even more important for shipments that cross international borders outside the EU because they will undergo customs procedures. Some countries have very strict rules about importing medicine. For example, in the USA, every medication must be approved by the FDA.
  • Sending prescription drugs is possible only if the courier company allows this type of shipment. Some couriers may refuse to transport prescription drugs to certain destinations or if the shipment does not contain the necessary documents.
  • In case you need to ship prescription drugs, it is important to send proof of the prescription.
  • Certain services have stricter restrictions than others. For example, Express shipping involves delivery by air freight, which is more restrictive than road freight options.

Can every courier ship prescription drugs abroad?

It is important to note that not all courier companies will ship prescription drugs internationally. For example, DHL, FedEx, TNT and UPS have very strict regulations about shipping prescription and over-the-counter medication.

Each courier has specific rules and requirements for different shipments, so we recommend checking this further with the designated courier for your route.

If you need any help booking your delivery, you can reach us by chat, phone, or contact form before shipping to discuss your options further.


Information required for shipping prescription drugs internationally

When ordering the shipping of pills and medicines abroad via courier services, there is some information that you may have to provide us with:

  • The type of drugs and the amount you want to send.
  • Specify if they require a prescription and if they contain substances that cause addiction.
  • In many cases, medicines can be temperature-sensitive items or require special transport conditions, so please pay attention to the shipping conditions of the service you book.
  • Check if the drugs you want to send or the substances they contain are approved in the delivery country.


Shipping prescription drugs and medicine with courier services

Shipping options to consider depending on the route and time-sensitivity of your shipment:
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*Please bear in mind that some courier companies may include prescription drugs and medications in their list of prohibited items. For any clarifications, please contact our team of specialists via chat.


Packing guide for shipping prescription drugs

When sending or posting prescription drugs, remember to pack them properly to avoid damage. Here are our general guidelines on how to prepare your shipment:

  • Ship the items in their original packaging. Alternatively, you can pack them in a leak-proof container such as a sealed polythene bag.
  • Wrap the packaged medication in bubble wrap. Use at least two layers of bubble wrap for maximum protection (especially for delicate items), and secure it with tape.
  • Put the wrapped items in a cardboard box. Place the medication in the box and surround it with cushioning materials or other items that you wish to ship (such as clothes).
  • Seal the box and label it, if needed.


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FAQs on shipping prescription drugs in the EU, UK and overseas

Will my package go through customs when shipping medicine internationally?

All shipments that cross international borders outside the EU must go through customs clearance procedures. For that, the sender needs to make sure the shipment contains all the necessary documents and is compliant with the local legislation.
Read more about the customs clearance process and how it works.

Can you post medicine to the UK from overseas?

Since Brexit came into effect in January 2021, all mail and shipments sent to and from the UK must go through the customs clearance process.
Before posting any medicine to the UK from overseas, we recommend checking the updated regulations of each country regarding the transport of specific prescription drugs. If you need any assistance in placing your order, send us a message via chat to discuss your options with one of our specialists.

What happens if you are caught shipping non-allowed prescription drugs internationally?

There are strict regulations for shipping all kinds of medication, whether prescription-based or over-the-counter drugs. If you are caught shipping items that are not allowed, you will be subjected to the rules of the customs authority and the courier company.
Depending on the situation, you may be charged additional fees during the customs procedures, or your shipment may be returned to the sender or destroyed. We strongly advise against shipping prescription drugs unless you verify with all the responsible parties that this is allowed and legal.

What is the regulation for shipping over-the-counter medicine via courier?

The general regulations described above for shipping prescription drugs also apply to sending over-the-counter medicine by post or courier.
Shipping over-the-counter medicine is not illegal, so many people decide to send this type of pills and medicines over the post every day. However, when shipping anything, you need to consider not only the local laws but also the rules of the carrier.
Due to their delicate nature, many couriers decide to include over-the-counter medicine in the list of restricted items to ship. We recommend carefully checking the applicable regulations before sending medication overseas.

Can you send birth control pills internationally?

Many birth control pills are considered over-the-counter medication, so they can be shipped as long as they are allowed in the destination country and by the courier provider.
There are a lot of companies that sell birth control pills online, with delivery included. Such companies normally have specific contracts with the delivery providers.
Take into consideration these guidelines when shipping prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicine by post or courier. Nevertheless, please consider that following them does not guarantee that the courier company will transport your package without restriction. If you decide to ship medicines, Eurosender will not be held responsible for any damages caused by the transport of your shipment.