Legality in Europe
Since the creation of the European Union, free trade and mobility of people and goods was established among the member states.
The European Union can issue general rulings and laws that the States have to abide by, leaving little room for unilateral rulings. When it comes to legalizing or banning a new substance, states have some freedom. There is, however, a mutual recognition principle. That means that if the use of a specific substance is approved in one member state, it should not be banned in the rest.
Check here the largest database on the internet regarding the legal status of kratom as of 2020 in each of the European countries and stay updated on any new regulations and developments.
Click on the country to learn more:
Outside the EU, countries are able to rule based on their own judgement. Most countries look up to the United States or the UN when facing a new situation that has no precedent in their law system.
Unfortunately, kratom has been banned in some countries. While there has been great strides towards accepting this plant, there is still work to be done. Read our list below for countries you should not travel to or be very careful with kratom.
Although there seems to be no clear regulation around Kratom or any of its active components in the country, it is safe to say that bringing Kratom into China is probably not the wisest option.
Kratom’s legal status in the semi-independent territory of Hong Kong is not clear. While it is not included in any illegal substance list, its ilegal status in many neighboring countries make it hard to advice on its legality in Hong Kong.
This lack of regulation has attracted some media attention lately and there are more and more people, especially medical professionals, that are asking for Kratom to be regulated.
Kratom and its main active components are not listed under any of the official banned substances or narcotics by the Narcotics Control Bureau of the Government of India.
While it is safe to say that Kratom is not illegal in the country, we advise caution when entering the country with big amounts of kratom. Possession and commercialization should not pose any real threat.
While Indonesia is the main exporter of Kratom in the world, the use and sale of the plant are banned in the whole country.
Growing Kratom for exports is currently legal but not its local use or distribution.
In 2016, Kratom exports from the region of West Kalimantan reached $130 million in annual profits, most of these exports were to the USA.
In early 2019, some rumors were talking about a potential full ban on Kratom (including exports), making it a Schedule I drug and later on the same year regulation was passed regarding Kratom’s legality.
According to the American Kratom Association (AKA) “The Minister of Health in Indonesia has issued a regulation that bans kratom in Indonesia, including growing of kratom plants and exporting kratom raw material from Indonesia. The regulation provides a 5-year transition period for kratom growers to shift to another crop. The Ministry of Agriculture has sent a document in the past week to various Ministry’s in the Indonesian government recommending the ban on kratom be formalized at all levels of government”.
This would have a great impact on Kratom imports worldwide since 95% of the world’s Kratom supply comes from Indonesia.
The two main alkaloids present in Kratom, Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine, were added to the list of controlled drugs of Japan.
Bringing Kratom to the country is therefore illegal and could be considered as drug smuggling or trafficking. Penalties for drug use, possession and trafficking are usually severe and can include long jail sentences and fines.
Kratom is considered illegal in Malaysia under Section 30 (3) Poisons Act 1952. However, it is reported that possession in Malaysia isn’t a major issue.
Bringing kratom into Malaysia is could have you regarded as a drug smuggler. Quantities above a certain level are harshly punished.
Kratom is now illegal in Myanmar. It cannot be grown or purchased.
Kratom is strictly illegal in Singapore. Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, two of the main active elements in the Southeast Asian plant, are currently considered Class A controlled drugs and are listed under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA).
Under Singapore’s MDA, there are 3 kinds of drug offenses:
1. Possession: The penalty for possessing drugs is a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of $20,000 or both.
2. Consumption: The penalty for drug consumption is a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of $20,000 or both. The authorities have the right, under MDA, to request hair or urine samples to anyone who is suspected of drug consumption.
Possessing tools to consume drugs can be also punishable with 3 years in jail or a fine of $10,000 or both, regardless of the tests’ results.
3. Trafficking: The penalties for drug trafficking range from imprisonment and strokes of cane to the death penalty. The penalty will depend on the class and the quantity of the drugs.
South Korea has made Kratom an illegal substance. It is heavily regulated with harsh penalties imposed against people who attempt importation and possession.
According to the Taiwan Controlled Drugs Act of 2017, Kratom and one of his active elements, mitragyna, were included in the list of controlled substances under the Schedule 3.
Bringing Kratom to Taiwan is therefore considered ilegal and could be punished with economic fines and even imprisonment in some cases.
Medical use of Kratom and marijuana are legal in Thailand. On Christmas day 2019, new legislation was passed to make both substances legal for medical use. Recreational use of both is still illegal and punishable by death. Kratom has been illegal since 1943. In 1979, Kratom was reclassified as a Type 5 narcotic (the least restrictive and punitive level). It was included in the Thai Narcotics Act along with cannabis and mushrooms, reducing sentences and punishments from those guilty under the act.
Although there isn’t clear legislation concerning the legality of Kratom in Vietnam, drug policies in South East Asia tend to be quite strict in general. With Kratom being in a gray area in many countries, it is not worth the risk of bringing Kratom into Vietnam.
The Middle East is an area of the world known by its harsh punishments for those who break the law. It is also an area with some of the most strict ani-drug policies in the world. Therefore, bringing Kratom into any country of the area should be avoided as much as possible.
Israel moved to make both Mitragynine and Hydroxymitragynine illegal and, therefore, Kratom is considered a dangerous drug and included in the “Dangerous Drugs” list by the Department of Health.
There is no specific information about Kratom and its active components in Syrian law. The low popularity of the plant in this and other neighboring countries, makes it hard to find Kratom included in any official substance list.
However, we strongly recommend not trying to bring Kratom into Syria. Drug regulations, as well as penalites for law infringement, are very strict in this and other Muslim countries.
Turkey is known for harsh laws regarding psychoactive substances and included kratom and its main components in the list of controlled substances in 2014.
Under Turkish legislation (Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Department), Kratom’s main alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, are included in the illegal substances list and its manufacturing, sale, or possession are punished by law with imprisonment and fines.
In 2015, the Health Ministry of the UAE added Kratom to their list of banned substances alongside other plant substances such as kava and salvia divinorum
The three plants were added to the Schedule IV substances and their active elements were added to the Schedule V list.
In 2005, the Australian Drug and Poisons Schedule Committee recommended that Kratom & Mitragynine be grouped along with other schedule 9 substances. This imposed a complete ban on the use of Kratom. This law implied that the legal status of Kratom in Australia is that of a narcotic drug, the use of which is illegal.
Through this legislation, Australia has expressly prohibited the purchase, sale and even possession of Kratom products and Mitragynine. However this law doesn’t prohibit Kratom for research purposes. With the passing of this law, Australia has raised increased pressure on New Zealand to adopt a similar stance on kratom.
Kratom was included in the list of controlled substances in New Zealand as a Schedule 1 drug. However, it can be obtained under a doctor’s prescription.
Although Kratom and its main active elements are not specifically included to any prohibited or controlled substances list in Egypt, it is highly recommended to not bring Kratom with you when traveling to Egypt.
Egypt has harsh regulations on psychotropic substances and narcotics. Since Kratom is considered an illicit drug in some place, especially in the middle east area, it is very probable that, if confiscated, it is considered an ilegal substance.
The situation of Kratom in South Africa is quite similar to the US a few years ago. Kratom has not raised much attention among the health authorities and there has not been any actions in favor or against its legalization and regulation for human consumption. The Drug and Drug Trafficking Act of 1992 does not include Kratom’s main alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hidroxymitragynine, to the list of controlled susbtances.
In a similar way, the equivalent of the Food and Drugs Administration South Africa, the SAHPRA (South African Health Products Regulatory Authority) has not issued any kind of communicate regarding Kratom.
Therefore, Kratom is not illegal in South Africa and it is not regulated either.
As it happens in many other countries, Kratom cannot be sold as a supplement for human consumption or as a substance with medical benefits.
In Canada, the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and Health Canada are the two institutions that are in charge of scheduling substances and drugs. According to them, Kratom and its components are not safe for human consumption and selling the herbal supplement may lead to penalties or criminal prosecution.
However, it is not considered an ilegal substance under the official lists and it can be obtained as “not safe for human consumption” product as it happens in some states in the US.
Mexico has not added Kratom and his active elements, Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, to a list of controlled substances. It is not a regulated substance either and its possession should not pose a legal threat to anyone.
There are online stores selling kratom. However, we recommend not to travel into Mexico with large amounts of Kratom.
The legal status of Kratom in the United States varies from state to state. While there is no clear regulation that affects the whole country, it falls to each state’s legislators to decide on Kratom legality.
Arizona: Legal, Kratom Consumer Protection Act passed
California: Legal (except in San Diego)
Colorado: Legal (except in Parker Town and Monument Town)
Florida: Legal (except in Sarasota County)
Georgia: Legal, Kratom Consumer Protection Act passed
Illinois: Legal (except in Jerseyville City)
Mississippi: Illegal in many counties
New Hampshire: Legal (except in Franklin City)
New Jersey: Legal
New Mexico: Legal
New York: Legal
North Carolina: Legal
North Dakota: Legal
Rhode Island: Illegal
South Carolina: Legal
South Dakota: Legal
Washington DC: Legal
West Virginia: Legal
Central America and the Caribbean
Kratom is alegal in Belize, as there is no further specific information.
There are online stores selling kratom and it is not mentioned in the list of controlled substances.
Kratom is alegal (unregulated), as there is no further specific information.
Cuba has harsh laws on drugs and controlled substances, so we advise caution even though kratom is not illegal there.
Kratom is alegal (unregulated), as there is no further specific information.
Kratom is alegal, as there is no further specific information.
Argentina is the only Latin American country that clearly mentions mitragynine as an illegal substance at the present time, according to the Decree 69/2017.
In Brazil, kratom is not included among the prohibited substances in the Ordinance SVS/MS 344/1998.
Tha plant is legal in the country, even though it is listed as a plant-based NPS (New Psychotropic Substance), following the definition from the UNODC, in order to be notified to Anvisa if in circulation within the country.
There are online stores selling kratom in Colombia and it is not mentioned in the list of controlled substances.
Kratom is alegal in Suriname, as there is no further specific information.
Uruguay follows international lists regarding controlled substances and drugs, so kratom is legal.
Kratom is alegal in Venezuela, as there is no further specific information.