The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has urged customers to make use of two online services, which allow them to import medicines for personal use and medical equipment after obtaining an e-permit.
The optional service is available for travelers and residents seeking to import personal medicines and medical devices into the country. They can choose to either obtain prior electronic approvals for their imports or disclose their medicines and devices upon arrival at the country’s ports. In the latter case, customs authorities will coordinate with the ministry and take necessary action based on the available documents.
Importing personal medicines
To access the two services, customers can log into the MoHAP website or smart App. They are available under the service category. Customers will need to fill in the required data, attach necessary documents, and submit their application electronically, provided that they meet the relevant conditions.
According to the ministry’s terms of service, individuals coming to the country are permitted to bring a quantity that is necessary for their personal use during their stay in the country, as long as it does not exceed six months. However, if they need to bring narcotics or controlled drugs, they are only allowed to bring enough for a maximum of three months and must provide all the necessary documentation.
Importable medical equipment
The service of importing medical equipment is available not only to healthcare institutions but also to local agents holding a valid medical warehouse license issued by the MOHAP. To be eligible, the local agent must fulfill the requirements and conditions set forth by the ministry.
The imported medical equipment can include a wide range of items, such as medical and surgical devices and spare parts, medical and surgical supplies, materials, supplies, equipment, and spare parts used in dentistry, surgical aesthetic medicine, the dental industry, prosthetic parts, equipment used in medical and diagnostic laboratories and their reagents, as well as those used in the manufacture and installation of prosthetics or supporting or prosthetic devices for people with disabilities. The service also includes the importation of contact lenses.
Requirements for importing medical equipment
To benefit from the two services, customers should first visit the ministry’s website or smart application and submit an initial import request before commencing the shipment process from the country of origin. Customers are required to pay the application fees at this stage.
If the initial request meets the requirements and conditions, it will be approved with a validity of sixty days. During this period, customers must complete the necessary shipping procedures. Once they obtain the bill of lading and pay the required fees, they can submit a request for permission to clear the shipment.
If they meet all the necessary requirements and conditions, the approval will be granted electronically. The permission can then be printed from the electronic system and is valid for sixty days from the date of issuance. However, it is important to note that this permission is subject to the approval of the ministry’s inspectors for customs clearance upon arrival at the country’s ports and before the marketing of medical equipment locally.
Dr. Ruqaya Al Bastaki, Head of the Drug Department at MOHAP, said that authorising the import of personal medicines and medical equipment is a crucial step in enhancing the standard of healthcare services in the country. This initiative reflects the ministry’s commitment to assuming a regulatory and supervisory role in the health sector while prioritizing the well-being and safety of community members. Moreover, it also helps prevent the distribution of counterfeit medications and unlicensed equipment, thus shielding patients from potential harm. By offering top-notch electronic services, MOHAP seeks to elevate the overall quality of life for its customers, according to international best practices.