China has warned of stringent action against manufacturers who export defective and counterfeit medical products, including confiscation of the illegal income and punishment, to ensure the overall quality of its foreign trade, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday.
The GAC will impose fines of more than 50 percent but less than three times the value of the goods on exporters who violate the rules, the administration said in a statement. Authorities will also seize the goods and the illegal gains in accordance with the provisions of law and slap companies with false concealment and evading customs supervision charges. Depending on the circumstances, the GAC and related government branches will impose a fine and take legal action including detention and fixed-time imprisonment to tackle corporate crime.
If an exporter is involved in smuggling, the administration can directly cut its business credit rating and categorize its status as an untrustworthy company in customs records, and implement strict measures such as increasing the frequency of audits and inspection, and collecting security deposits in full in future customs clearance procedures, the statement said.
Jin Hai, director-general of the GAC's department of general operation, said the government will keep a close eye on the quality and safety of exported medical supplies and implement strict controls on related products.
Because there are disparities between quality standards in different countries and regions, and also between usage methods, Jin said the customs will only release such medical exports based on certificates of registration approved by medical product administrations and documentation to prove they meet the quality-control standards of respective export destinations.
The policy was adopted by the Chinese government to ensure the quality of medical supply exports last week. Manufacturers of new virus test kits, surgical masks, protective gowns, ventilators and infrared thermometers must provide extra documentation when they go through customs clearance.
Customs authorities across China stopped exports of 11.2 million medical items, including 9.94 million face masks, 155,000 units of protective clothing and 24,000 infrared thermometers without government registration certificates at ports, postal service hubs and e-commerce channels since last Tuesday.
China is supplying anti-epidemic materials to countries in need so that they can resume production quickly and also continue their efforts to combat the epidemic, as certain parts of the global supply chain have been damaged by the new virus outbreak, said Wang Huiyao, president and founder of the Center for China and Globalization, an independent Beijing-based think tank.
China exported 10.2 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) worth of epidemic prevention and control supplies from March 1 to Saturday, customs data showed.
"It will not only fill the gap caused by the medical goods shortage in various countries, but also highlight Chinese manufacturers' position in the global industrial chain," he said.