China eases restrictions on exports of some coronavirus equipmentChina eases restrictions on exports of some coronavirus equipment
Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is dropping a requirement that a number of key virus treatment products get regulatory approval before export, as long as they are approved in the importing countries, the commerce ministry said on Saturday.

China had been stipulating such approval since the end of March after several European countries complained that Chinese-made test kits were inaccurate, in effect hampering many firms’ efforts to supply global efforts against the coronavirus pandemic.

The new ruling applies to products such as coronavirus tests, medical masks, protective suits, infrared thermometers and ventilators.

“Tonight’s new rule is a revision to (the older rule),” said Zhang Shuwen, the CEO of Liming Bio-products, a biotech firm offering coronavirus tests targeting the overseas market. “It’s wrong to have a one-size-fits-all policy…”

“Each country may have different criteria for medicines and medical devices. The priority is to meet the requirement in the countries where the product will be sold, instead of where the product is made,” Zhang said.

The previous ban vexed medical device firms in the cities of Hangzhou and Shenzhen, who tried to seek help from local governments, Zhang added.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu, Shanghai Newsroom and Se Young Lee; Editing by Gareth Jones and Kevin Liffey)