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3 MINUTE READ
January 5, 2024

INFORMATION ON CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

Certain prescription drugs are considered controlled substances and subject to the regulations established by the Korean Food and Drug Administration and the Korean Customs Service.  The procedures outlined below for importing/shipping medications or hand-carrying medications into the Republic of Korea are subject to change without notice.  We recommend that you plan in advance and confirm the procedures with the relevant Korean authorities before bringing any drugs into the Republic of Korea.

Marijuana, CBD oil, and hemp-derivate products are heavily regulated in the Republic of Korea and should not be brought into Korea, including on airport layovers. Even with a U.S.-based prescription, possession of these products can result in deportations and arrests.

 

Bringing prescription drugs into the Republic of Korea

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) states that any narcotics-containing medication (including CBD oil) is strictly prohibited from import into Korea, even with the doctor’s prescription. For other prescription medications, visitors must submit a written application to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) before traveling. Please contact the (MFDS) for up-to-date information at +82-43-719-2813 or by email at narcotics@korea.kr. The MFDS application procedure is available here.

For medications that do not contain narcotics or amphetamines, up to six bottles of medication (or equivalent to a three-month supply) will be permitted into Korea, provided they are for personal use only. Visitors must bring the original prescriptions, a letter from your doctor specifying the medical condition, and a statement from your doctor on the medicines you are importing.

The Korean Customs Service at Incheon Airport has authority over which medications will be allowed to be carried into the country. You may wish to consult with your U.S. doctor regarding substitute medicines, or sources of local equivalent medicines in Korea.

For more information, please look into their website http://www.mfds.go.kr/eng/index.do