Authority for Justice and Consumer Protection

View non-prescription drug retail stores

If you want to sell non-prescription medicines in retail stores outside of pharmacies, you must declare this.

Important notes


  • Knowledge and skills in the following areas:
    • bottling,
    • packing,
    • labeling and storage
    • placing medicinal products on the market
    • Regulations that apply to over-the-counter medicines
  • If you do not have the required expertise yourself, one of the following people must have it:
    • a person legally appointed to represent the company
    • one of you with the management of the company or
    • a person you have commissioned with the sale
Note: If there are several branches, there must be a person in each branch who has the required expertise.

Documents required

  • identification document
  • Evidence of expertise, e.g. through:
    • Skills test IHK
    • completed pharmacy degree
    • Approval as a pharmacist
    • University studies in chemistry, biology, human medicine, veterinary medicine in connection with further evidence such as theoretical and practical lessons in certain basic subjects (§15 Drugs Act)
    • completed training as a druggist
    • Final examination as a pharmacy assistant or pharmaceutical commercial clerk
    • Completed training as a pharmaceutical-technical assistant
    • Evidence that you worked in one of the following jobs before 1978 after passing the commercial assistant exam:
    • Practical experience of at least three years in a trading company with over-the-counter medicines or
    • five years of commercial experience, two of which in a managerial position, with over-the-counter medicines

Please note

If you want to operate a mail order business for over-the-counter medicines, you must register in the mail order register, since every mail order company selling medicines in the European Union is obliged to use the common European mail order logo on their websites. It shows consumers that a mail-order company is authorized under its respective national law to sell medicines for human use via the internet. At first glance he can identify the Member State in which the mail order company is established.

The logo must be clearly visible on the website. The click leads to the mail order register.


The notification must be made before the start of the activity

Procedure & Fees


  • Written notification and description of the planned trade in over-the-counter medicines
  • Requesting evidence of the required expertise
  • Ad confirmation and inclusion in the monitoring of drug trade

Processing time

After you have announced that you have started your business, you are allowed to start retailing.


Fees are calculated in Hamburg according to the time spent, based on the annex to the fee schedule for public consumer protection from December 7th, 2021 (HmbGVBl. 2021, p. 858)

Legal notes

Service description

You may sell certain non-prescription and non-pharmacy medicines outside of pharmacies. These are referred to as so-called over-the-counter medicines. Which medicines these are is described in more detail in the regulation on pharmacy-only and over-the-counter medicines.

The retail sale of non-prescription medicines is notifiable. Businesses and institutions must report this activity to the municipality in Hamburg at the authority for justice and consumer protection - pharmaceuticals - before they start work. This also applies to persons who carry out these activities independently and professionally. For the dispensing of medicines in the itinerant trade, the activity must be reported to the municipality before admission.
This notification according to the Medicines Act must be submitted to the municipality in addition to the business registration according to the trade regulations.

Retailing of over-the-counter medicinal products may only be carried out if the entrepreneur has the necessary expertise to represent the entrepreneur by law or a person commissioned with the management of the company or with sales.

In the case of companies with several branches, there must be a person with the necessary expertise for each branch.

The expertise must be proven by an examination before the responsible Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Certain tests and evidence (e.g. pharmaceutical-commercial clerk, pharmaceutical-technical assistant) are also recognized as proof of expertise.

Address and contact information

Postal address

Authority for Justice and Consumer Protection
Pharmacy I
Postfach 30 28 22 20310 Hamburg

Opening hours

Mon-Thurs 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fri 8 a.m. to 2.30 p.m., no public traffic, only telephone advice

Facility info

Only mail can be sent to PO Box 30 28 22. Please send parcels to Billstraße 80, 20539 Hamburg instead.

Public Service Disclaimer

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