China Bans Export of Unlicensed Medical Supplies

By Rakini Bergundy, April 2, 2020

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Starting April 1, Chinese manufacturers looking to export COVID-19 test kits and related medical supplies must be properly licensed by China, in addition to meeting the standards of the importing country. The announcement was jointly made by the Ministry of Commerce, General Administration of Customs and the National Medical Products Administration, amid accusations of faulty medical equipment being sent from China to a number of European countries. 

The announcement pertains to companies exporting coronavirus testing kits, medical masks, medical protective wear, ventilators and infrared thermometers. 

When a company declares its shipment, they must provide a written or electronic declaration, and promise that the products have obtained China’s medical device registration certificate which meets the quality standards of the importing country. 

Customs will then inspect and release the medical device registration certificate approved by the drug regulatory department. Previously, Chinese exporters only had to have CE certification in order to sell to the European Economic Area. 

Currently, hospitals around the world are in short supply of personal protection equipment (PPE). Many stories of medical staff having to rewear the same mask for weeks on end (instead of single-use) have been widely circulating. Factories in many countries that normally produce garments have even switched to producing to masks in order to fill the gap. 

China vowed on Tuesday to continue to send and donate materials internationally, despite domestic demand. China Daily reports that “30 countries and two international organizations have signed agreements with Chinese exporters to purchase products including face masks, protective suits and nucleic acid testing reagents.”

READ MORE: Chinese Company Accused of Selling Faulty COVID-19 Test Kits

[Cover image via Pexels]

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