FAQ's about Prescribed Controlled Drugs and Import Licences for Individuals
What is a Personal Import Licence for Prescribed Controlled Drugs?
A Personal Import Licence allows an individual who is residing within the Bailiwick to import certain prescribed controlled drugs from their UK-based clinician.
Controlled drugs are medicinal products named in the misuse of drugs legislation. Only a controlled drug listed in Schedule 2, 3 or 4 to the Misuse of Drugs (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Ordinance 1997 may be imported under this licence.
- If you need to check the controlled status of your prescription, contact your UK-based clinic or supplying pharmacy.
- The amount of controlled drug imported at any one time under this Import Licence must not exceed 1 month's supply within the corresponding dosage specified in the prescription.
- Any information or advice pertaining to a prescription for any Controlled Drug must come from your prescriber/clinician. They are entirely responsible for the safety of your prescription under their own General Medical Council licence. Your local GP should be made aware that you are using this Prescribed Controlled Drug to ensure that any medications you are prescribed locally are safe to take at the same time.
How do I ensure I have filled out the Import Licence application correctly?
Fill out the Import Licence application form as soon as you have received your prescription from your UK-based clinician by clicking here: https://www.gov.gg/cannabislicenceform
· You only need to fill out ONE application form per Import Licence. We can put several prescriptions on the same Import Licence if they all have the same prescription date or are dated within a 2-week window of time. If there is a longer time frame between prescriptions, you will need to apply and pay for another Import Licence.
· There is a TWO STEP process to fill out this form.
o Step One: Fill out your name and email and hit send. This will take you to a pay window. Pay the £25 application fee. We cannot take payments by phone. This is the only way to pay this fee.
o Step Two: Upon successful payment, you should then be directed to the Import Licence application. Fill this out completely making sure you have answered the questions correctly and thoroughly.
· You will then receive a receipt via email for your records.
How long will it take for me to receive my Import Licence?
Approximately 5-10 working days from the date the last piece of complete and accurate information is received. If there are queries or errors in the information sent to us, then the timeline can be longer.
What slows down the licensing process?
· Applications not sent to us on time. Ensure that your application is sent as soon as possible, ideally the same day the prescription is written and forwarded to the licensing team by your prescriber/pharmacy.
· Prescriptions not sent to us on time. It is your responsibility to ensure your prescriber/pharmacy sends us your prescription(s) directly and copies you on this email so you know we've received it. We cannot accept prescriptions sent via Licencing Team from yourself. They must be sent directly from your prescribing clinic or pharmacy to the Licencing Team at email@example.com
· Inaccuracies on applications and/or prescriptions requiring the Licencing Team to chase up corrections from yourself or your clinic causing delays while we await the corrections to be completed.
o If you check for errors on your prescription(s) to ensure your correct name, date of birth, full address (incl: House Name, Road, Parish, GUERNSEY, and your Postcode), and all prescription details are all correct BEFORE we receive them, that would speed things up significantly.
What if my prescription is future dated?
For patients who are stabilised on treatment, the clinic may provide a series of up to 3 prescriptions to cover a 3-month period.
We will accept all prescriptions when they arrive, and you can complete your application ahead of each future dated prescription in preparation. We can then hold your completed future dated licence until it is time to be sent to you.
The licence will then be issued on the date of the prescription or as close to the date as is appropriate. This is because the prescription is only legally valid from the prescription date. The pharmacy also cannot supply the prescription ahead of the date on the prescription.
What do I do with my Import Licence once I receive it?
Once you receive your Import Licence by email from the cannabis licensing team, you should forward it by email immediately to your UK pharmacy so they can apply for an Export Licence. This will enable them to send your shipment from the UK to Guernsey along with your Import Licence.
IMPORTANT: You can only use your Import Licence ONCE. If you choose to receive a partial shipment against the Import Licence, you cannot use it again to later receive the rest. You must then obtain new prescriptions and apply for a new Import Licence to claim any medicines not received from that used Import Licence.
How do I contact the Licencing Team?
Our team cannot take inbound calls since we are busy issuing licences. Be aware that we deal with many applications at any given time. There may also be periodic processing delays due to unexpected volumes, or time-consuming cases, and occasionally staff illness.
All communications are requested to be via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please only email the Licensing Team when necessary and ensure your full name is in the subject line so we can look up your query before responding. You will have provided your telephone number on the Import Licence application form in case the team needs to contact you directly.
Inquiries about prescription-based issues should be directed to your prescribing clinic.
General importation or travel related questions should be directed to the Border Agency: https://gov.gg/prescriptionmedicine
What are the hours of the Licensing Team?
There are two dedicated staff members that both work part-time between the hours of 9am and 2pm, Mon-Fri excluding bank holidays. The Licensing Team email is not monitored outside of these business hours.
Why does the licensing process seem so complex?
Provision of an Import Licence for a Prescribed Controlled Drug is a legal process. It is therefore essential that all relevant and accurate detail is collected and verified before an Import Licence can be issued. Prescriptions also tend to vary from month to month, which requires time and attention to detail to ensure every Import Licence is processed correctly for each importer.
If I am requesting an Import Licence on behalf of a relative, what additional permissions do I need?
The licensing team will require an email from the patient's own email, or a telephone number to contact the patient if they are unable to use a computer, to consent to another person communicating on their behalf in an application for a Controlled Drug Import Licence. It is advisable for any patient to inform their GP of their Prescribed Controlled Drug from their UK clinician.
What happens if my prescription is rejected by Guernsey clinicians?
If a Prescribed Controlled Drug from the UK clinician does not appear to be appropriate, our Duty of Care requires that we inquire with the importer and/or prescriber to clarify their intent. Individuals are reminded that they are only allowed to import sufficient medicines in appropriate quantities to serve their own personal needs within a month's time.
What happens if nearly 28 days have passed since the prescription's date?
UK-based Controlled Drug Prescriptions are only legally valid for 28 days, so you need to obtain the Import Licence within those 28 days. Otherwise, you will need to obtain a new, re-dated prescription from your doctor.
If the application and prescription are completed accurately and timely the first time, then this situation should not happen. If the prescription or Import Licence application are submitted to the Licencing Team late, then there is not time to process all paperwork regarding import/export/delivery. It is your responsibility to ensure all the paperwork arrives complete, accurate, and on time to the Licencing Team.
How long is the Import Licence valid?
The Import Licence, once issued, is valid for up to 6 weeks from the date of the original prescription. This allows extra time for shipping if needed.
What if I want to travel with my Prescribed Controlled Drug?
The Open General Licence will be hosted on the Guernsey Border Agency website for full details. https://gov.gg/prescriptionmedicine
In short, these are the 4 requirements for Individuals:
1. You have your Import Licence available to present to customs or a letter from your on-island prescriber detailing your medicinal products and your daily dosage requirements.
2. You have your prescription available to present to customs.
3. You have your licenced medication available to present to customs in its original packaging in only the amount you need for the duration of your stay based on your daily dosage requirements.
4. You travel through the red channel to declare that you are travelling with a controlled substance.
In the case of exportation from the Bailiwick, the traveller is always responsible for compliance with the law of the country or territory to which the controlled drug is to be exported, any requirement for an Import Licence to be issued by the competent authority of that country or territory.
For the UK further information can be found on the Home Office website or by contacting them direct:
Drug and Firearms Licensing Unit
Telephone: 020 7035 6330
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges
For Jersey, please check with their www.gov.je site.
What is the Fair Processing Notice?
This notice is linked on the www.gov.gg/mhc Import Licence page. It describes the use and storage of patient data in accordance with GDPR data protection laws.