Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Service Center

Examination of expertise in trading in over-the-counter medicines

In order to be able to offer so-called over-the-counter medicines in the trade, you must prove the relevant expertise through an examination

Important notes



Documents required

Photo ID for identification during the exam



Procedure & Fees


First, you register in writing or online with the responsible Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

  • The IHK will confirm your registration
  • You take the exam on the selected date
  • If you pass the exam, you will then receive a certificate
After receiving the certificate, you may sell medicines that are not subject to the pharmacy requirement.

Processing time

You will usually receive the certificate within a few days of passing the exam.


There are costs. Please ask the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce about the amount of the fee

Legal notes

Legal remedies

Detailed information on how to object to an examination result can be found in the notification that you failed the examination.

Legal basis

§ 50 Medicines Act (AMG)

§§ 1-5 Ordinance on proof of expertise in the retail trade with over-the-counter medicinal products

Service description

In principle, medicinal products may only be sold in pharmacies. However, there are exceptions for the so-called over-the-counter medicines. These can be, for example, teas, ointments or tablets that contain herbal substances such as valerian. If you want to sell these products in your store, there must always be an employee with proven expertise on site. You can prove this expertise by taking the exam.
For example, in the exam you must be able to answer questions about the proper storage of over-the-counter medicines, the possible dangers of overdosing on the active ingredients, and legal regulations on handling and selling them. The questionnaire consists of 50 multiple choice questions and 5 open questions.
You should prepare for the exam in terms of content, for example by attending a preparatory course. However, this is not a prerequisite for registering for the exam.
With a university degree or professional training in the field of pharmacy, you may already have the expertise and do not have to prove it through a separate examination. You can find more about this in the further information.

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Address and contact information


Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Service Center
Adolphsplatz 1 20457 Hamburg

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Opening hours

Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Fri 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (by phone: Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-2 p.m.).

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