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China will not restrict exports of medical goods and strengthen their quality

China will not limit exports of medical goods needed in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, a government spokesman said today, regarding the emerging tensions over the deficit of masks and respirators, the Associated Press reported.
China, which is the largest manufacturer of surgical masks and other products and personal protective equipment, announced last week that it would start inspecting goods for export after complaints from Western countries that some Chinese tests for the virus, masks and other products did not meet standards for quality, transmits BTA.

Since then, US officials have expressed dissatisfaction with bureaucratic and other setbacks faced by US companies trying to export goods made at their Chinese plants and seen as key in fighting the outbreak.

A State Department spokesman quoted by Reuters today urged China to revise its new rules on quality control over PPE exports to prevent them becoming an obstacle to timely supply.

Beijing has not responded to questions about whether the envisaged inspections will not extend the time required for deliveries to abroad. Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said today that the Chinese side has taken measures to speed up customs procedures while at the same time ensuring quality in the export of goods linked to the fight against the pandemic. “China has not and will not limit exports of such goods,” Gao said.

On this occasion, the AP recalls that last week the Chinese customs agency announced that it would start treating masks, fans, protective clothing and goggles, as well as similar as medical goods, requiring their exporters to provide certificates that their products are approved by regulators in host countries. The inspections are intended to confirm that these goods comply with the standards.

"We welcome the efforts to ensure the quality of the exported products. However, we do not want this to become an obstacle to the timely delivery of important export goods from China,” the US State Department spokesman said.