Medicines must not be ordered from outside the EEA
Remember that you are not allowed to order any medicines from outside the EEA. These kinds of medicines also include erectile dysfunction drugs. Please check from what country you are ordering the drugs. Countries belonging to the EEA, i.e., the European Economic Area, are the EU member states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
You can order drugs from the EEA but there are restrictions that apply to ordering. Read about the restrictions on Fimea’s website. Note that you can order prescription drugs only by using a prescription. Make sure that the online pharmacy from which you order is legal. Read on Fimea’s website, how you can identify a legal online pharmacy.
Check the import restrictions before placing an order – as the ordering party, you are responsible for making sure that regulations are followed. This information can be found in the This information can be found in the Customs restrictions manual (only available in Finnish).
If you wish to order goods that require a licence to be imported, you should apply for the licence from the relevant authority before you order. Customs does not issue import licences.
Examples of restrictions
Note that the list is not exhaustive.
You are not, as a private person, allowed to obtain or receive goods containing biocides from abroad, unless there is an authorisation number granted by the Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) on the packaging of the goods. Goods like these include rodenticides and mosquito repellent mats intended for mosquito repellent devices. More information can be found on the Safety and Chemicals Agency website: Biocides
You can order drugs from the EEA but there are restrictions that apply to ordering. Read about the restrictions on Fimea’s website. Note that you can order prescription drugs only by using a prescription. Make sure that the online pharmacy from which you order is legal. Read on Fimea’s website, how you can identify a legal online pharmacy. Countries belonging to the EEA, i.e., the European Economic Area, are the EU member states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
- The import of foodstuffs may be restricted. For example, the import of meat and milk products from some EU countries is restricted. More information: Finnish Food Authority.
- The import of plants and seeds is subject to restrictions. More information: Finnish Food Authority.
- The import of firearms, firearm components and ammunition is subject to restrictions. Import licences are granted by the Police. Ask the Police or read more in the Customs restrictions manual (only available in Finnish).
- The import of goods derived from endangered animals and plants may be prohibited or may require a permit. The permits are issued by the Finnish Environment Institute. More information: Environment Institute.
- The import of precursors of explosives requires a licence. More information: the Police.
- The import of pleasure boats and pleasure boat engines is subject to restrictions. Ask Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom for more information or check the Customs restrictions manual (only available in Finnish).
- Radio equipment. More information: Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.
Non-medicinal products ordered online may be classed as medicines in Finland
Customs detains and seizes large amounts of medicines from consignments ordered from online stores. At Airport Customs alone, several hundreds of cases of smuggling, medicine offences and medicine violations are revealed each year, and as many as thousands of administrative detentions of medicines are carried out.
You are not allowed to acquire or receive medicinal products by post from a country outside the EEA
You are only allowed to acquire medicinal products from within the EEA
A private person may receive, for his or her personal use, prescription and non-prescription medicinal products from another EEA country in a quantity corresponding to no more than three months’ use, provided that:
- the medicinal product has a marketing authorisation in the state from where it was acquired, or, if the medicinal product does not have a marketing authorisation, it was purchased with a prescription appropriately issued by a person authorised to do so;
- the medicinal product has been acquired from a supplier authorised to carry out retail supply of medicines in the country of purchase; and
- the person is able to prove that the medicinal product is intended for his or her personal treatment. For prescription medicines, this can be done by presenting the prescription or medical certificate appropriately issued by a person authorised to do so, or in the case of an electronic prescription, by presenting a summary print-out that can be obtained from the pharmacy.
- If you have ordered medicinal products by post from the EEA, you must have the required documents before receiving the products.
- Self-medication products, i.e. over-the-counter medicines: For every medicinal product, a prescription status is defined, indicating whether the medicine in question may be supplied without a prescription and the maximum package size in which the medication can be purchased without a prescription. When you order medicines online, make sure you know the package sizes and the prescription status of the medicinal product. More information from Fimea: fimea.fi – Self-medication products
When ordering medicines online or from an online pharmacy, make sure that the pharmacy is a legalised distance seller of medicines. Online services that operate in the European Union can be identified by a pan-European logo. Read more: fimea.fi – Common European logo for online services (in Finnish and Swedish).
- You are not allowed to acquire or receive medicinal products containing a narcotic substance by post from outside Finland.
- You are not allowed to acquire or receive veterinary medicinal products by post from outside Finland.
If you buy preparations containing melatonin online, find out the dosage and the purpose of use of the product. In this way, you can make sure that you are not unknowingly committing a medicine offence. A melatonin preparation can be classified as a medicine or as a food supplement. Remember that you cannot order medicines online from outside the EEA.
Rule of thumb: if a preparation contains no more than 1.9 mg of melatonin per daily dose and its purpose is e.g. to reduce the time for sleep onset or to ease jet lag, it is usually classified as a food supplement. The purpose of use of the preparation is indicated in the label and in advertising. The Finnish Medicines Agency, Fimea, does not take any measures concerning such food supplements.
Please remember the following:
- Preparations containing melatonin and indicated to be used for treating insomnia are always classified as prescription medicines, regardless of the daily dosage.
- Preparations with the daily dosage of 2 mg or more of melatonin are always classified as prescription medicines.
- If you order a preparation that is too strong or that is intended for treating insomnia, you will be guilty of ordering a prescription medicine without a prescription.
Customs supervises import goods that are subject to restrictions by means of risk analysis and X-ray, with the help of detector dogs, and by performing goods inspections when needed.
- Finnish Food Authority – (e.g. health products and food supplements, animal imports)
- Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority STUK – (e.g. laser products)
- Fimea – (e.g. herbal medicinal products, medicinal homeopathic and anthroposophic products as well as instructions for making a classification request)
- Environment.fi – (e.g. endangered animals and plants and products made from them (CITES))
- Police – (e.g. firearms and firearm components)
- Finnish Transport and Communications Authority Traficom – (e.g. frequencies for telecommunications equipment)