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4 posts

Wannabe Geek


# 140631 15-Feb-2014 21:21
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Does anyone know much about NZ customs and how strict they are?

I was planning to order some Melatonin online from a United States website and ship it here to NZ, but it's a prescription only drug here in NZ. What would be the chances that it gets seized? What would happen if it were to get seized?

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Mad Scientist
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  # 988009 15-Feb-2014 21:32
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i'm not sure but if it is not (and i don't see why it would be) legislated as a controlled thing anyone could get them in ... i wonder how the shops import their party pills and police is powerless ... melatonin should not get anyone in trouble surely?

disclaimer: my own ignorant opinion and definitely not to be regarded as factual




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  # 988010 15-Feb-2014 21:34
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even then your job is to make sure you are ingesting what the box says and not something else or wrong concentration or impurities present etc ... just because the box says it is alkaline battery doesn't mean it won't blow up your remote control car

just because the box says xxx mg/mcg melatonin does not mean it won't hospitalise a person




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  # 988020 15-Feb-2014 21:59
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Easy..the Answer is basically you cannot.

http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/compliance/faqs.asp  (Part of the Ministry of Health)

I have found a herbal medicine or supplement for sale over the internet. Can I order it?
If the product does not contain a prescription medicine it may be imported without restriction. Be aware that some herbal products or supplements may be classified as prescription medicines in New Zealand. Some examples are Melatonin, DHEA and Yohimbine.

Can I import medicines containing a controlled drug?
Medsafe has no jurisdiction to deal with controlled drugs at the border. All enquires relating to this issue should be made to the New Zealand Customs Service.


So going to the customs website..

http://www.customs.govt.nz/features/prohibited/imports/Pages/default.aspx  

Controlled drugs (including temporary class drugs) and utensils
Private persons

Do not attempt to smuggle controlled drugs and temporary class drugs into New Zealand. The importation of such drugs could result in your imprisonment. Be cautious about carrying packages or baggage for strangers.

If you arrive in New Zealand carrying controlled drugs on you or in your luggage (methadone for example), you may import it provided that you:

 

  • Declare the controlled drugs on your passenger arrival card. 
  • Do not have more than one month’s supply of the controlled drug with you – if you have more you will need a licence to import from the Ministry of Health. 
  • Prove to Customs that the drug: 

     

    • is required for treating your medical condition 
    • has been lawfully supplied to you in the country of origin – a letter from your doctor or a valid label on the container with your name and the quantity and strength of the drugs would be sufficient. 
So reading this you can't (unless you are say a USA resident and bring it in with you and you have a USA prescription)

If you are bring it for commercial use (i.e. not personal gain) then you have to go to the Ministry of Health and get permission..


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Master Geek


  # 988031 15-Feb-2014 22:43
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If they catch it you will receive a letter with a certain time limit to get a prescription from a NZ doctor for no more then 3 month worth supply of the medicine for them to release it or else they will destroy it.

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  # 988047 15-Feb-2014 23:55
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I doubt that very much

Assuming the nz doctor thinks there is a medical reason for them to prescribe it for you.

The first question they will ask you is why didn't you go to your usual doctor.

Then where did you get it from, can you show me the prescription bottle with your name and the doctor who prescribed it.

I doubt you will get much understanding / sympathy after illegally importing it into the country.


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  # 988050 16-Feb-2014 00:17
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if you scroll down further on that medsafe link

it says if you have a reasonable excuse (eg a prescription from your doctor) you could import it




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  # 988052 16-Feb-2014 00:19
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max 3 mths supply (?per shipment)




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Master Geek


  # 988063 16-Feb-2014 01:24
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Because the product isn't registered in NZ, Section 29 of the Medicines Act lets you import it as long as your doctor writes a prescription for the product and Medicines Regulations 39A tells us that a prescription medicine can not exceed 3 months supply. So if you get more then that customs can't repack it so it would have to released to the doctor if they were happy with that or it all gets destroyed. I've seen some doctors write them for herbal products they know nothing about so I guess it depends on your doctor!

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  # 988123 16-Feb-2014 09:52
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Yep, as above.

The Shipment will be stopped at the border and you will be sent a letter asking you to provide a NZ prescription before they will release it to you.

If you do nothing no further action will be taken, you won't get into trouble however the shipment will be destroyed after 3 months.

Cheers


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  # 988131 16-Feb-2014 10:37
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I remain skeptical that a nz Dr will put their name on the line to legalize importation of a medicine sourced from overseas by giving the OP a prescription.

By writing the prescription they are opening themselves up to criticism as to why they didn't prescribe the nz registered version.

Why doesn't the OP want to see his/her normal doctor to discuss this in an appropriate manner.

A.

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  # 988137 16-Feb-2014 11:10
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exactly. Why dick around and risk getting in trouble with customs instead of just seeing your doctor?

And seriously - the risk of importing ANYTHING that you will be ingesting/injecting from somewhere outside of NZ that ISN'T regulated is pretty massive.

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  # 988138 16-Feb-2014 11:10
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Melatonin is already available in NZ. The only catch is it is not funded by the government.

The guideline is only for short term use and over 55 years of age.

Go to your doctor and get advise from him/her.





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  # 988142 16-Feb-2014 11:16
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I thought A prescription is a prescription. I can go to any pharmacy I want. Where you get it is up to you. There is no 'job on the line' is there?




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gzt

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  # 988218 16-Feb-2014 13:39
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nakedmolerat: Melatonin is already available in NZ. The only catch is it is not funded by the government.

The guideline is only for short term use and over 55 years of age.

Go to your doctor and get advise from him/her.

Making that a bit clearer. It is fully funded (subsidised) for people who are 55 and over (because research indicates they will benefit most I guess). Doctors still prescribe for younger people where there is a need and where they believe it will be beneficial. But younger people will pay the full over the counter price. With a prescription it is ok to import your own from natural health providers overseas.

Just remember that pharmaceutical manufacturers are really good at manufacturing high quality pharmaceuticals and that natural health manufacturers rarely have the same level of technical expertise and lab testing / quality control. It is a technical process and there is a lot of possible variation.

If you are looking at it to manage a long term problem it would probably be a smart move to talk to your doctor about the whole picture of the problem and get the best advice possible.

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Ultimate Geek


  # 988267 16-Feb-2014 15:08
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Cogswell: Does anyone know much about NZ customs and how strict they are?

I was planning to order some Melatonin online from a United States website and ship it here to NZ, but it's a prescription only drug here in NZ. What would be the chances that it gets seized? What would happen if it were to get seized?


Why not just see your doctor?

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