China Export Restrictions on Medical Supplies
On April 1, 2020, China announced it would restrict Chinese exports of medical supplies to only allow those entities that are licensed to sell medical supplies to export. The South China Morning Post states, “China’s new restrictions on the export of coronavirus-related medical supplies deal is not only a blow to domestic producers but could leave countries still battling Covid-19 with a massive shortfall of essential items.” The products include test kits, surgical masks, protective equipment, ventilators, and infrared thermometers. “Companies have described the ruling as unreasonable and appealed for it to be lifted so they can ship their goods – many of which are now stockpiled in factories and at ports – to the places where they are most needed. Meanwhile, foreign buyers are racing to source sufficient stocks from legitimate Chinese suppliers.”
The rule came after Spain allegedly refused a shipment of COVID-19 rapid test kids because they deemed them poor quality. According to Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg, “Exports of the products require certification from authorized testing laboratories, copies of the manufacturer’s business license, and the manufacturer’s certificate from China’s National Medical Products Administration. Previously exporters of such goods were only required to work with the foreign importer to make sure the product was compliant with the relevant requirements of the importing country, and there was no special requirement for export certification.”
According to Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg, effective April 26, 2020, “all exports of non-medical face masks must meet the qualification standards of either China or the importing nation. When declaring such an export, the manufacturer must submit an electronic or written announcement, jointly signed by the exporter and the foreign importer, attesting that the product meets this requirement. In addition, the foreign importer must attest that they accept the qualification standard and are aware that the face masks should not be used for medical use.”
According to the same article, the following products are included in this mandate:
- COVID-19 test kits
- medical protective clothing
- medical protective masks
- medical surgical masks
- one-time use medical masks
- infrared thermometers
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