China has suspended exports of COVID-19 prevention supplies through the "market procurement trade" mechanism in order to conduct better quality control, said the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Tuesday.
According to an online statement (in Chinese), domestic or foreign companies and individuals will not be able to export medical supplies, including testing kits for SARS-CoV-2, medical masks, medial protective clothing, ventilators and infrared thermometers via the "market procurement trade" declaration mechanism but can still proceed with the "general trade" declaration mechanism.
The "market procurement trade" mechanism has been implemented since 2014 in 14 places in China including Yiwu, Zhejiang Province and Huadu, Guangdong Province, in an effort to improve the internationalization of some markets and help domestic trade merchants develop foreign trade.
The mechanism pilots achieved positive results, said the statement, as it is very convenient for the export of multiple varieties and small quantities of goods, but according to the regulations, it cannot apply with products that need to be subject to export tariffs and inspection and quarantine measures.
"It is necessary to suspend the export of epidemic prevention supplies through "market procurement trade" in order to better strengthen the quality control of these goods," the ministry said.
The MOFCOM will continue to strengthen quality supervision with relevant departments, expand export of anti-epidemic goods in an orderly manner, and better support countries in fighting the epidemic, said the statement.