Narcotic and psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals


Basic information


Outline of the system

The importation into Honduras of narcotic and psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals is subject to an import licensing system (non-automatic licences) in order to ensure that the procedures employed by authorized importers are in conformity with international obligations (Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971, and Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988). National regulations also require that the imported substances meet medical, scientific and industrial requirements and remain in the legitimate distribution channels. The importation of these substances is covered by the Health Control Regulations.


Product coverage

Prospective importers of controlled drugs (amphetamine, methamphetamine, barbituric acids), narcotics (codeine, morphine) and precursor chemicals (pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, potassium permanganate) must apply for an import permit. The application must specify the supplier's name, address and country, the quantity and type of substances to be imported as well as the method of transport and the customs port of entry. Permits are valid for one shipment only.

Prospective importers must have a sanitary registration certificate issued by the Ministry of Health. Similarly, the establishment importing the product must have a valid operating licence.

Nature of licensing



If Automatic, administrative purpose



If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime


Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

The purpose of the import permit system is to curb the diversion of controlled substance to illicit uses. The quantity of drugs imported must not exceed anticipated medical or scientific needs in Honduras. The system also ensures that Honduras is able to meet its international obligations.


Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

Please see Answers 6.1-6.11.


The system applies to products originating from which country?

Import restrictions apply to all countries that are parties to the United Nations international conventions on narcotics to which Honduras is a signatory.


Expected duration of licensing procedure

Eligibility of applicants


Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?


What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?

Only legally authorized producers and/or distributors. Only authorized establishments may import these substances.


Is there a registration fee?


Is there a published list of authorized importers?

Contact point for information on eligibility










E-mail address




Contact officer

Submission of an application


Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application

Ministry of Health, Directorate of Health Regulation

Documentation requirements


What information is required in applications?

(a) Application signed by the chief pharmacist of the pharmacy or head of the manufacturing laboratory with the appropriate L. 5 fiscal stamp and L. 150 fee;
- details of the product to be imported (quantity in grams, concentration, unit dose);
- exact address of importer/exporter;
- customs port of entry.
(b) Application signed by the manager of the precursor chemicals distributor with the appropriate L. 5 fiscal stamp and L. 150 fee;
- details of the product to be imported (quantity in litres, kg. or metric tonnes, concentration, unit dose);
- exact address of importer/exporter;
- pro forma invoice;
- customs port of entry.


What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?

Window of submission of an application


How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?

An import application must be submitted sufficiently in advance of the expected importation.


Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain

Not applicable.

Issuing the license


Can a licence be granted immediately on request?

Not applicable.


Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence


Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?

The Directorate of Health Regulation has sole responsibility for examining applications for import permits.


Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?


Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?

Not applicable.

Fees and other administrative charges


Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?

A total of L. 155 by way of fiscal stamp and fee.


What is the amount of the fee or charge?

A total of L. 155 by way of fiscal stamp and fee.


Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?

Not applicable.


Amount or rate?


Is it refundable?


What is the period of retention?


What is the purpose of this requirement?

Refusal of an application


Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?

An import permit may be refused if any of the requirements laid down in the legislation is not met.


Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?

The applicant is notified of the grounds for refusal.


Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?

Applicants have the right of appeal to the General Directorate of Health Regulation of the Ministry of Health.


If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?

Applicants have the right of appeal to the General Directorate of Health Regulation of the Ministry of Health.



Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?

Not applicable.


What documents are required upon actual importation?

Invoice; Certificate of origin; Import permit certificate.


Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?

Precautionary measures.

Conditions of licensing


What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?

An import permit is valid for 150 working days. It cannot be extended.


Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?

No penalties apply.


Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?

Import permits are not transferable.

Foreign Exchange


Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?

Not applicable.


Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?


Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?


What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?

The following questions are only for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports (whether applicable globally or to a limited number of countries or whether established bilaterally or unilaterally)


Where is information on allocation and formalities for licences published? Is the overall amount published? The amount allocated to goods from each country? The maximum amount allocated to each importer? How to request any exceptions or derogations from the licensing requirement?

The United Nations publishes allocations of quotas for narcotics and records imports per country on its web site. Honduras does not allocate fixed quantities to countries.


Is the size of the quota determined: on yearly, six-monthly or quarterly basis? Are there cases where the size of quota is determined on a yearly basis but licences are issued for imports on a six-monthly or quarterly basis? In the latter case, is it necessary for importers to apply for a fresh licence on a six-monthly or quarterly basis?

Quotas are allocated annually, from June to June. Permits are extended according to importers' needs and are valid for 150 days.


Are licences allocated for certain goods partly or only to domestic producers of like goods? What steps are taken to ensure that licences allocated are actually used for imports? Are unused allocations added to quotas for a succeeding period? Are names of importers to whom licences have been allocated made known to governments and export promotion bodies of exporting countries upon request? If not, for what reason? (Indicate products to which replies relate)

Quotas are allocated to distributors and/or domestic producers. Checks are carried out together with the prosecuting authorities among distributors and domestic producers to ensure that permits are used for importation. When necessary, quantities not used are carried forward to the subsequent period. This is not communicated to governments in order to preserve confidentiality and for security reasons.


From the time of announcing the opening of quotas, as indicated in I above, what is the period of time allowed for the submission of applications for licences?

Not applicable.


What are the minimum and maximum lengths of time for processing applications?

Within 15 working days of receipt of the application.


How much time remains, at a minimum, between the granting of licences and the date of opening of the period of importation?

Applications are examined as and when received.


Is consideration of licence applications effected by a single administrative organ? Or must the application be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval? If so, which? Does the importer have to approach more than one administrative organ?

Only one administrative organ, namely the Health Products Unit.


If the demand for licences cannot be fully satisfied, on what basis is the allocation to applicants made? First come, first served? Past performance? Is there a maximum amount to be allocated per applicant and if so, on what basis is it determined? What provision is made for new importers? Are applications examined simultaneously or on receipt?

Permits are issued to authorized distributors or producers in chronological order of receipt. There is no maximum amount allocated per applicant; applications are dealt with in the order in which they are received.


In the case of bilateral quotas or export restraint arrangements where export permits are issued by exporting countries, are import licences also required? If so, are licences issued automatically?

Under Honduran law and the international estimates system of the International Narcotics Control Board of the United Nations, narcotic, controlled and restricted drugs requiring import permits also require export permits issued by the competent authorities of the exporting country.


In cases where imports are allocated on the basis of export permits only, how is the importing country informed of the effect given by the exporting countries to the understanding between the two countries?

Not applicable.


Are there products for which licences are issued on condition that goods should be exported and not sold in the domestic market?

Not applicable.