Can I take my medicines with me if I go abroad?

If you are travelling abroad and want to take medicines with you that fall under the Opium Act, you will need a certificate. 

Step 1: Find out whether your medicines fall under the Opium Act

To find out if your medication or the ingredients in it fall under the Opium Act, you can:

  • ask your pharmacist or doctor 
  • look it up yourself in the Opium Act. 

Look for your medication in Schedule I and Schedule II of the Opium Act (information in Dutch)

If your medicines do not fall under the Opium Act, check the list of embassies and consulates and choose the embassy or consulate of the country you are travelling to in the Netherlands. Contact the embassy or consulate. They will tell you what to do. You do not need to go to step 2.

If you are travelling to Singapore, there are additional requirements for medicines. Read what these requirements are below.

If your medication falls under the Opium Act, you will need a certificate. Go to step 2 to find out how to get one.

Step 2: Request a certificate

You can request a certificate from the CAK (central office for exceptional medical insurance). The certificate you need depends on the country you are travelling to and how long you are staying. 

Answer the questions on the CAK website to see which certificate you need in your situation (information in Dutch). On the same website, you can read what else you have to do.

Request a certificate well in advance

Request a certificate at least 4 weeks before you travel. If you are departing within a few days, find out on the CAK website what to do in your situation (information in Dutch). 

Take your certificate with you

You will receive your certificate by email or post. Take it with you when you travel.

Original packaging

Always carry your medicines in the original packaging. This will make it clear that they are medicines.

Step 3: Have your certificate legalised

For some countries you will need to have your certificate legalised. Ask the embassy or consulate of the country you are travelling to whether this is necessary.

Contact the embassy or consulate in the Netherlands of the country you are travelling to

Find out how to have your medication certificate legalised

Additional information for Singapore 

Singapore has additional requirements for some medicines. 

Request approval

There are certain medicines that you are not allowed to take to Singapore without the approval of the Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA). These medicines are listed under ‘Specific regulatory requirements’ in the HSA overview. Request approval at least 10 working days before you travel to Singapore. This will give the HSA time to assess your request.

Maximum supply

You may take no more than 3 months’ supply of medicines with you to Singapore. Even if your medicines do not contain a controlled drug, you will need to take documents that show they are for personal use.  For example a letter from your doctor or a copy of the prescription. These documents must be in English.

If you want to take more than 3 months’ supply, you must be able to explain why this is necessary and get permission. This applies to medicines that contain a controlled drug and medicines that do not. 

For more information go to the Health Sciences Authority website. 


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.