Cuba expands import and export of legal drugs by travelers

Cuba announced today the opening of the importation of legal drugs by international travelers, as part of the work of the Ministry of Public Health with the Customs of the Republic to speed up services at airports.

According to Colonel Nelson Cordobés, head of the Customs of the Republic, the rule will be published at the beginning of April in the Official Gazette.

This measure authorizes travelers to transport drugs containing controlled substances in their luggage accompanied upon arrival in the country, to comply with prescribed medical treatment and in the quantities that correspond to that purpose.

Also, that those travelers who use controlled substances for the maintenance and substitution of drug addiction, process and obtain authorization prior to their arrival in the country to transport and import their medical treatment.

According to Maylín Beltrán Delgado, head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Services of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), the rule contemplates the import and export of medicines, narcotic drugs, psychotropic drugs and substances with a similar effect to drugs for medical use.

It also includes vaccines, blood products, medical equipment and devices, and the like.

The official spoke this Thursday on the television program Mesa Redonda, dedicated to updating regulations by various state agencies, which impact border work.

He pointed out that this provision is based on the powers of the MINSAP in matters of regulation, control and supervision of narcotic drugs, psychotropics and substances with a similar effect to drugs for legal use, medicines and other health products.

Also, he added, to the international regulations approved on customs and drug matters that impact the effectiveness of the control and confrontation of international trafficking in this type of substance.

He recalled in this regard that Cuba is a signatory to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic and Psychotropic Drugs.

He clarified that this norm does not modify the provisions of the Cuban authorities on the importation of tariff-free medicines, which are still in force, but rather refers to specific products that require special conditions for import and export.

He added that until now the entry of these drugs into the country was prohibited and even required a specific authorization from the MINSAP. On the other hand, the new regulation defines authorizations and prohibitions and their procedures with greater transparency, facilitates the transit of passengers across the border and makes transportation more flexible for travelers who require them for their medical treatment.

Likewise, it updates and unifies border treatment by the different modalities established in international traffic, pointed out the head of the Ministry of Pharmaceutical Services Department.

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