Medical equipment from China

The market for medical equipment in China rises steadily. It is expected to grow to 3.7 billion USD by 2015. Now, it accounts only for 14% of the country’s total pharmaceutical industry but has undoubted growth potential. China’s healthcare infrastructure is still below the levels of developed nations, but consumers’ expectations are rising, as well as their purchasing power. What is the customs duty for medical equipment from China?

Medical equipment from China

Medical devices from China can be bought worldwide. Most foreign customers stick to not complicated, basic medical utilities, such as disposable syringes, urine bags, or stethoscopes. More sophisticated equipment goes in the other direction. Hundreds of major foreign companies are selling their products in China, and most of those are bought in major cities such as Beijing or Shanghai.

China’s medical device industry is heavily fragmented but provides a satisfactory level of research and development driven by governmental investment. Foreign companies, such as GE Healthcare, Philips, and Siemens, have their representative offices on Chinese soil. Domestic manufacturers tend to export their products to developing markets.

What kind of products can be interesting from the perspective of a Western buyer? We need to emphasize that the quality inspection system is getting better, so we should not restrict ourselves only to laboratory equipment and disposable medical supplies. If the product has a proper CE marking, it is allowed in the EU.

Below we present duty rates for several categories of medical equipment:

EU duty rate for medical equipment

  • Computed tomography apparatus 0%
  • X-ray tube 2.1%
  • Medical sterilizers 1.7%
  • Ultrasonic scanning apparatus 0%
  • Laboratory centrifuge 1.5%
  • Sterile latex gloves 2%
  • Instruments and apparatus for measuring blood pressure 0%
  • Apparatus for anesthesia 0%
  • Artificial teeth 0%
  • Syringe 0%
  • Insulin Pump 0%
  • Mask 0%

US duty rate for medical equipment

  • Computed tomography apparatus 0%
  • X-ray tube 0.9%
  • Medical sterilizers 0%
  • Ultrasonic scanning apparatus 0%
  • Laboratory centrifuge 0%
  • Sterile latex gloves 0%
  • Instruments and apparatus for measuring blood pressure 0%
  • Apparatus for anesthesia 0%
  • Artificial teeth 0%
  • Syringe 0%
  • Insulin Pump 0%
  • Mask 0%

In the case of many products, CE marking is required. Procedures for proper classification of the device are described here. Usually, every medical device may be classified as Class I (including Is & Im), Class IIa, IIb, and III, with Class III covering the highest-risk products. The higher the classification, the greater the level of assessment required. It is worth noting that separate regulations are related to in-vitro diagnostic devices. Those are divided into “List A” and “List B” and require production quality assurance. A detailed description is provided here.

Please refer to other articles by our team, which describe the duty rate for auto parts, chemical reagents, and electronic equipment.