Travelling Overseas with PBS Medicine
Taking PBS Medicine overseas
Call the Travelling with PBS medicine enquiry line on 1800 500 147 (call charges may apply).
If you need help translating this information call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (call charges apply).
The Australian Government's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) provides all Australians and eligible visitors affordable access to more than 2600 prescription medicines.
It is illegal to take or send PBS subsidised medicine out of Australia unless it is for your personal use or the personal use of someone travelling with you.
PBS subsidised medicines are sometimes taken or sent from Australia for re-sale or for relatives and friends overseas who may not be able to get the medicine in their country. This is illegal and can be dangerous to the health of the person who gets the medicine.
You need to know
Taking or sending PBS medicines out of the country may be illegal
It is illegal to take or send PBS medicines out of Australia unless it is for your personal use or the use of someone travelling with you, for example a child.
People who are found to be handling a PBS medicine in the wrong way risks a fine of up to $5000 and/or two years imprisonment. There are also restrictions on the amount of PBS medicine you can take or send overseas.
Taking PBS medicines overseas
Travellers taking PBS medicines overseas should check the medicine is legal in the country they are travelling to by contacting the relevant embassy, high commission or consulate before leaving Australia.
Sending PBS medicines overseas
You are allowed to send PBS medicines overseas only for your own personal use, or the use of someone who will be travelling with you, when you will be travelling through a country where the medicine is illegal, or when you would need to carry a large amount.
PBS medicines may be a prohibited export under the Customs (Prohibited Export) Regulations. Some prohibited exports are not legally able to leave Australia unless they are physically taken by the person travelling.
If you need to send a medicine that is a prohibited export, you must get written approval from the Department of Health and Ageing.
For more information call the Australian Customs Service on 1300 363 263 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you are overseas
Check with your doctor to make sure you have enough medicine for your trip, as you may not be able to get your medicine overseas. Remember you should not go over the amount of PBS medicine you are allowed to take overseas.