FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Japan Narita Customs - Importing prescription medication on prohibited list
Old Aug 23, 12, 12:54 am
Steve M
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Houston, TX, USA
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Originally Posted by akira2472 View Post
Hello, let me start off by saying that I know what I would like to do is illegal, but please don't respond with moral criticism
I have no moral criticism or even moral comment to offer. But, I do have some points of order:

So a couple months ago I got diagnosed with ADHD and was prescribed Adderall, which has been a godsend for me, my life has improved dramatically. In a couple months I am going to Japan for a year and would like to take it with me, however it's illegal. ...

I am not going to try and smuggle them, I am bringing a 3 month supply in the prescription bottle with the label as well as a signed letter from my doctor.
My plan was to ... not declare them on customs forms... The customs form lists as prohibited articles: Narcotic drugs, stimulants, marijuana, psychotropic substances, MDMA etc.
Adderall is a stimulant and is a prohibited item in Japan. By not declaring it on your Customs form, you are making a false Customs declaration.

Also, you ARE in fact trying to smuggle them. The fact that it is for your own personal use and not for resale/redistribution, was prescribed by a doctor for a legitimate medical need, and is legal in the US all has no bearing on the situation. You are knowingly trying to import a prohibited item - that's the definition of smuggling.

I have never had my bags checked (although I don't know if they check checked luggage) nor have I had any special questioning, I am a young white male, but I don't think I look suspicious.
I roughly fit that description (or at least did when I first started visiting Japan), and have had my bags inspected at least twice upon entry. Once, they went through my smaller bag, including my toiletries bag, and would have found any medication that I had in there. The other time, I must have really piqued the inspector's interest, as in addition to a bag search including a search for false compartments, he had me take off my shoes and felt in between my toes! I have no idea what made them suspicious of me - for all I know, it could have been completely random. But most of the them, they search nothing, and maybe ask an extra question at most.

I guess that's the whole point of doing random searches: one never knows for sure when one will be searched, and that provides a deterrent against smuggling by those that otherwise would not fit the profile that would cause them to be searched for cause.
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