Bringing health products into Canada for personal use (GUI-0116): summary

From: Regulatory Operations and Enforcement Branch (ROEB)


This guidance document describes the rules for bringing health products into Canada for personal human and veterinary use. Health products include prescription drugs; over-the-counter (OTC) medications; natural health products (NHPs); veterinary health products (VHPs); medical devices; blood for transfusion; human cells, tissues, organs for transplantation.

Who this guide is for

These guidelines apply to you if you:

  • live in Canada (resident of Canada),
  • are returning to Canada from abroad
  • are a visitor to Canada such as a tourist or a visitor with a study or work permit

In this guide

  1. Purpose
  2. Scope
  3. Role of Individual
  4. Government of Canada’s role
  5. What types of health products are regulated under the Food and Drugs Act?
  6. Guidelines for importing health products for personal use
    1. What is meant by personal use?
    2. Who can import a health product for personal use?
    3. Can I bring medical devices into Canada?
    4. Can I bring prescription drugs into Canada?
    5. Are there shipping or packaging requirements?
    6. Can I bring drugs for food producing animals or animals intended for food (including all horses) into Canada?
    7. Can my doctor/veterinarian access health products that are not available in Canada?
    8. Can I bring/mail health products to a foreign country?
  7. Appendices
  8. Appendix A - Glossary
    1. Acronyms
    2. Terms
  9. Appendix B - Contact us
  10. Appendix C - References
    1. Laws
    2. Policies and Guidance documents
    3. Other

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Details and history

Published: December 21, 2020

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