Imports & Exports Habit Forming Drugs

In line with the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) guidelines, BoMRA continues to facilitate the import/ export controls for habit-forming drugs (HFD’s) through issuance of Import and Export permits for narcotics and psychotropic drugs.

INCB is the United Nations office responsible for the control of narcotics and psychotropics medicines in international trade, that involves the movement of the products across borders and their use and consumptions in countries. Permits are issued against the INCB allocated quotas and a database on the consumption of these controlled medicines is kept and closely monitored to ensure that quotas are not exceeded.

The Authority is working on a new system of issuance of import permits which will be piloted on veterinary medicines imports and later rolled-out to human medicines by. It is anticipated that this system will improve the tracking and tracing of medicines as they are imported into the country and provide further information as to the quantities imported at any given time.

The system will initially be manual and when fully developed it will provide the necessary foundation upon which to build an electronic system as the Authority strives to improve efficiencies and enhance customer service. Through collaboration with Port Health in Ministry of Health & Wellness and the Botswana Unified Revenue Services the Authority has established presence at Port of entries to facilitate verification of incoming and outgoing consignments. It is anticipated that these relationships will be formalized and strengthened through MOU in the next financial year.

Interceptions and detention of noncompliant medicines at Sir Seretse Khama Airport and other border entry points have been reported and subsequently investigated and resolved. Such issues mainly relate to medicines imported without prescriptions and mis- labelled product packaging to name a few.

Way forward

Inspections and premises licensing are identified among core functions for the attainment of WHO maturity level three,
consequently, through the 2019-2024 corporate strategy, BoMRA is committed to strengthening inspections, licensing and import/export controls through the following strategic initiatives:

  •  Establishment and implementation of inspection and licensing processes, standards and structures
  •  Development and implementation of an inspection frameworks and associated programmes

These initiatives will be progressed during the strategic period to among other priorities ensure capacity building in medicine manufacturing site inspections which is critical to facilitate product registration.