Santiago Airport - Customs Process for Medicine

Obi1

New member
Jan 13, 2021
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Gurabo, Santiago
Hello. I am working with a few people to host a mobile clinic in Santiago next week. We went through the proper channels of getting this clinic approved through the Ministry of Public Health. The only question in this process now is how to go about avoiding any customs issues at the airport if the few people are bringing some meds in a few suitcases for the clinic. Is there certain paperwork needed to notify customs that the meds will be used at a clinic approved by the DPS? Anything is helpful at this point. Contacts, recommendations, tips, etc.
 

La Profe_1

Moderator: Daily Headline News, Travel & Tourism
Oct 15, 2003
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Normally it is a rather involved process (been there, sone that and it took lots of time). At this point, given that the arrival is fairly imminent, I would recommend that you try to contact DR1 member POP-DGA.

Her name is Evelyn and she is in charge of Customs at the Puerto Plata airport. My guess is that she is your best resource at this point.

The only issue is that you cannot sent her a private message until you have made 10 posts.
 
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POP DGA

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Nov 4, 2020
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Hello, yeah, these things are better to plan ahead honestly, there's a whole process to import goods... specially medicine to another country.

The due process is for you to contact a customs broker (agente aduanal), many options, you can google them, can't recommend any. With the customs broker you will do a DUA (Declaración Unica Aduanera) (Customs declaration) where you will basically list the amount of medicine, it's price, characteristics, weight, your personal info as importer, transport info, etc.

With it, your customs broker will have to ask for a VUCE authorization from the Health department, once they clear it (usually within 2 days) you're able to pay for your cargo and take it with you. In this step you can also ask for a tax exoneration if you think your non profit organization and cargo qualifies for it.

If you didn't do any of these and show up at the airport with the medicine, if customs officials inspect your luggage and find it they will most likely retain your bags, if you didn't declare it you could be fined (very unlikely) and you will have up to 6 months to do this procces if you want to get your bags back.

I appreciate what you're doing to help and your charitable work, and I know this is a pain, but this is mainly done to keep our country safe, specially with medicine, health department has to inspect if the medicine is out of date, if it's allowed, if it's not a danger to our people, etc.
 

POP DGA

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Nov 4, 2020
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Hello. I am working with a few people to host a mobile clinic in Santiago next week. We went through the proper channels of getting this clinic approved through the Ministry of Public Health. The only question in this process now is how to go about avoiding any customs issues at the airport if the few people are bringing some meds in a few suitcases for the clinic. Is there certain paperwork needed to notify customs that the meds will be used at a clinic approved by the DPS? Anything is helpful at this point. Contacts, recommendations, tips, etc.
If I were you, given the time limitations... I would go talk to the head of customs in Cibao Airport, his name is Melquiades Cabrera, explain the situation to him and go from there.
 

La Profe_1

Moderator: Daily Headline News, Travel & Tourism
Oct 15, 2003
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Thank you, Evelyn. I haven't needed to arrange Customs clearance for an operativo for several years, so I thought that your help would definitely be up to date.

Will the OP be able to enter Cibao Airport to consult with Customs? It was usually a major problem for me when I had groups of doctors and dentists arriving in Puerto Plata several years ago.
 

POP DGA

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Nov 4, 2020
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Thank you, Evelyn. I haven't needed to arrange Customs clearance for an operativo for several years, so I thought that your help would definitely be up to date.

Will the OP be able to enter Cibao Airport to consult with Customs? It was usually a major problem for me when I had groups of doctors and dentists arriving in Puerto Plata several years ago.
Thanks for tagging me, yes this is right up my alley,

About your question, Obi1 won't enter the primary area at Cibao Airport (inside the terminal), for that he/she would need to make an apointment, send his/her ID, ask for a visitor's tag, etc. but he/she could go to Ciabo airport public area, ask for the head of customs, and he could see him/her outside and talk.

About Puerto Plata... new administration!!!, I'm open to hear anyone out and find a way to make everything as smooth and easy as possible, so if you or anyone reading this has any questions or issues concerning traveling through Puerto Plata, I'm here to help.
 
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La Profe_1

Moderator: Daily Headline News, Travel & Tourism
Oct 15, 2003
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About Puerto Plata... new administration!!!, I'm open to hear anyone out and find a way to make everything as smooth and easy as possible, so if you or anyone reading this has any questions or issues concerning traveling through Puerto Plata, I'm here to help.
That is good to hear! I could tell nightmare stories about "exoneración de los impuestos," letters to DGA in Santo Domingo, getting written permission from Salud Pública in Puerto Plata not only for the operativo but also for the medications being brought in, needing to provide a list of names of persons carrying the medications, their flight and passport numbers.

It was a morass of paperwork each time.
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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You may be busy Evelyn when the new digital system comes......

Seem to be some problems w/ the English version
 

POP DGA

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You may be busy Evelyn when the new digital system comes......

Seem to be some problems w/ the English version
Even though this program is between three agencies (Migration, Customs and Public Health), the head of this is Migration, they designed the forms, and all the technical aspects of it, they're aware of some issues that have been reported, I have forwarded some of the concerns seen on this forums directly to them also.