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Nicotine refill cartridges for electronic cigarettes are prescription medicines
A passenger is allowed to import and receive from abroad by post an electronic cigarette device, its battery and non-nicotine cartridges. However, a doctor’s prescription is required by Customs from importers of cartridges containing nicotine.
- Persons who import medicines should have with them a valid doctor’s prescription and the person who prescribed the medicine should be authorised accordingly. In practice, medicines are prescribed by doctors, Senior Customs Inspector Heli Lampela from the National Board of Customs Enforcement Department points out.
According to the list of medicines maintained by Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea, nicotine is a medicine. Nicotine is also included in the list of medicines requiring prescription, which means that nicotine cartridges are prescription medicines.
Inhaler medicines requiring marketing authorisation that are used in nicotine replacement therapy are an exception. Even in such cases the maximum size of a single dose is 10 mg and the maximum content of the active substance is 0,42 g.
A passenger is allowed to import for personal use from the EEA a maximum quantity corresponding to one year’s use of prescription and self-cure medicines; and from outside the EEA a maximum quantity corresponding to three months’ use. A citizen is allowed to receive by post from the EEA a maximum quantity corresponding to three months’ use; and from outside the EEA not at all.
- Illegal import might fulfil the essential elements of a medicine violation, medicine offence or smuggling and lead to criminal penalties, Lampela emphasizes.
- Medicines Act 10.4.1987/395
- Medicines Decree 24.7.1987/693
- Government Decree No. 11.12.2002/1088 on personal import of medicinal products into Finland
- Finnish Medicines Agency’s decision on the list of medicines 11.12.2009
- List of medicinal substances and products that can be delivered under medical prescription only, approved by the National Agency for Medicines on 5/2/2003
- List of medicinal substances and products that can be delivered under certain conditions without medical prescription, approved by the National Agency for Medicines on 5/2/2003
- The Penal Code of Finland 19.12.1889/39