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Help Please CUSTOM problems


Hi all.

I have been collecting medical supplies and one of the drug rep’s from Tylenol gave me 500 samples of Children’s Motrin to take with me. Then unfortunately she returned back to my office and informed me that the Canadian Customs will probably take all my donations away from me. >:( :’(

She was saying I need so much documentation to be able to get it there that now I am in a dither as to how to do this!

Grace or Lyndsey, do you know any way for me to get the medications THERE without Canada or DR taking them at the Customs checkin?? Apparently I need letters from Grace and The Dream Project etc. How am I going to do this?? :o

It will really make me furious if I can’t get the medications that I have collected there because of some stupid bureaucracy.(sp)

Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. We leave in a few weeks.

Thanks all.

Sad Pookey :frowning: ???


Rather than telling you what to do; I will tell you what I would do.

I would be sure that all medications were in original packaging and pack them in amongst my personal effect IN my checked baggage suitcase. I would NOT inform anyone that I had the meds nor would I ask what to do with them to anyone throughout the whole process. I would check my baggage and on arrival stroll right through customs like I owned the airport and everyone in it. IF they asked to inspect my baggage (chances are slim that this would happen but not impossible) I would say that I didn’t understand (this might be true for you) never speaking a word of Spanish. I would say “All Inclusive” “tourist” “name of my resort” but I would not put my baggage on their table. As the line behind me grew I would say to the next in line “what is the problem, why are they bothering tourists - I don’t understand” Eventually (unless I looked like a drug dealer or a terrorist) they would wave me through and I would have successfully played them at their own game AND my donation would be intact. While it is doubtful that you will need to go through this performance you should be prepared.

If somehow I was found out, I would plead utter ignorance, allow them to confiscate the meds and still have a wonderful vacation.


Hey Pookey :slight_smile:

I like Senor Gregg’s plan - sounds like a good one to me!

Just in case though, give me a few days to try and get some letters put together - I’ll contact you when I have something.



Thank you so much Gregg and Lyndsey.

It’s the Canadian government that apparently are also the bad guys.

Since working in a medical office, I was going to bring a BOX of medical donations from everything from Motrin, Children’s Tylenol to high blood pressure medicine, 30 tubes of Polysporin etc., etc.

I have some of them at the Doctor’s office that I work at now. I am not bringing them all home to find out I can’t take them. I am to let the Drug Rep’s know next week. There is no way that I could possibly put them all in my suitcases and my hubby’s. There wouldn’t be room for anything but a bathing suit, which I might end up only taking as I can’t get rid of the Christmas weight that I have gained. :’( :’( :’(

Anyways, I like your idea Gregg and will try and see what I could take. I wonder if I could say that they are a present for my closest friend Grace (never met her yet but will lie to get the stuff through)and she is picking me up or something.

Thanks again. Thanks Lyndsey for all your doing as well hon.

Pookey (Pat) :wink:


One thing NOT to do is use a cardboard box for shipping; somehow use a suitcase. It will be like a magnet for the knuckleheads in customs in the DR.

As long as all you are bringing OTC meds I would not concern myself with Canada’s bureaucrats and their petty rules. i would, as I said, plead ignorance, if caught.

Mi dos pesos.



When will you be arriving in POP? I am Grace, btw, and if your arrival is AFTER my return to POP, we can probably fax you a letter. Right now, I am stuck in the US waiting for the laptop I purchased for our seminary rector. It is supposed to go back with me in my carryon…and I can’t leave without it!

I know nothing about Canadian customs, but I can tell you that several years ago I arrived in POP on an air-only charter out of Toronto. I had 12 cases of OTC meds with me and NO ONE questioned it - either Canadian customs or La Aduana in POP.



Hi Grace.

So glad to hear from you. We will be arriving @ Breezes POP on February 2nd-16th.

The drug rep that was really in a dither and got me going was the representative for Motrin. She had at first given me over 3000 samples of Junior Strength Motrin for Children. If I can manage to get the right documentation to satisfy her, I can probably talk her into giving it back to me. In the meantime, all she would give me is 180 tablets which I am at least bringing.

I was getting high blood pressure medication, polysporin, ear drops etc, that I was planning on bringing as well.

Thanks for helping me Grace in whatever way you can.




I have some donation receipts with me. They are on diocesan letterhead, and are signed by Wayne and Kerry Grant from Mustard Seed. I am authorized to fill in the amount and date - can you check with the drug rep if that would be acceptable?

If so, I will mail it from Buffalo, NY.



Hi Grace,

I am not doubting you at all but I assume you either have your citizenship or residency and are not arriving on a Tourist Card… My purpose was simply to keep one of our tourists out of a confrontation (if possible) with La Aduana - DR Customs department for our posters. Anything other than suitcases is a big red flag when a planeload of pasty white tourists arrive to be baked for a week or two.


Hi Gregg and Grace. :smiley:

What I think I will probably end up doing is spreading the medication throughout my suitcase accept for the 2 boxes of Motrin Junior Strength Children. I have some vitamins here as well but I think I can put them all into one big vitamin bottle. I will make sure that I bring a sample one so that you know the instructions for them and what exactly they are.

Gregg, do you think I can get away through customs by just randomly putting Polysporin etc., in my suitcase. As you say, and this is true, we are going to be the pasty white tourist coming for 2 weeks of hopefully solid sunbathing weather.

Being our first trip outside Canada, that’s all I need is to draw attention to ourselves by some medications that the government customs don’t like us donating. That would definitely put the idea of ever coming back or going anywhere again on the back burner for the hubby. Now that I have him flying to the DR, I hope to be able to return at least twice a year. In saying that, I could always bring little bits of medications everytime we come down.

Thanks for helping me out on this possible unfortunate political bureaucracy. No wonder people are getting discouraged with the Tsunami Relief donations.

Have a great week u2. :wink: :wink:

p.s. Look out Gregg, we just had the worst day of freezing rain and ice pellets that we have had in a few years. They took the city buses off the roads and it sure did make it a very interesting time for me taking my little Pookey (puppy) out for a walk this afternoon.


Speaking as someone who works in the public transit industry, it must have been a mighty bad storm for the buses to be taken out of service. :stuck_out_tongue:


Hi all. :slight_smile:

Just to give Chantal an update, I have been trying to talk the reps into some samples but apparently on Friday, all drug companies in Canada had given the biggest drug sample donations ever to the Tsunami and are now being quite stingy to the Canadian doctors.

With all due respect, I am glad that they have given so much to the Tsunami but I wish that they had also remembered that there are STILL other countries in the world that rely on sample’s to help their countries out as well.

With saying that, I am just going to have to play everything by ear and then when we leave, I will have a better idea as to how much I will be bringing.

Question for Grace, can you give me your phone number in the Dominican and I will get in contact with you personally if I manage to get enough sample’s together to make it worth Your while. Thanks hon.

Talk to you soon.
Best regards,
Pookey (Pat) :wink:


No to relive a previous posting but I have to pipe up here. I have just returned home from Breezes and the MSC. One of my traveling companions is a distributor for Tylenol and we went to POP with a full box of over 100 packages of Children’s Tylenol for Wayne at Mustard Seed. I also had packages that my doctor gave me in a suitcase packed with clothes, toiletries, etc for MSC. We just didn’t tell anyone what we had and our bags went through fine and Wayne was appreciative of our donations. I am with Gregg’s “I know nothing” attitude should you be questioned. I see no reason why I can’t bring things with me when I come from “the land of plenty” and I am going to “the land of the needy”. If I can get my hands on it, I will bring it with me.


We did the same thing only we bought a old suit case at value village loaded up with medication and carried it through like it was any other suitcase…we did have a letter (from a Doctor) stating where all the drugs were from and where they were going…I’m told that is important to say in the letter that you are not going to sell the medication and that they being donated to the people of the DR


You don’t go through Canadian customs until you come IN to the country. It’s the Dominican customs you will have to be dealing with.
I travel out of Canada on Biz at least 4 times a year and then once a year out of the country in the winter for a Dominican holiday. In 7 years the only folks I’ve ever had to deal with was the security screener .
Throw them in your suitcase.


Fr ;)iend of mine brings a suitcase full of meds no injectables usually puffers and minor drugs. He gets a letter from the cuban embassy in canada usually has little probs but always gets through. He generally carries around 50 lbs .


Well just speaking from personal experience, as we always take ‘humanitarian’ supplies to the DR with us, we just don’t tell them anything unless they ask, and they have NEVER asked us yet, just look at the passport and tourist card and say ‘hola’ and away we went on our way. We have never had a problem bringing anything into the DR yet. And as the other person said, if you get challenged, just play dumb… helps to be blonde too LOL