Measures proposed by China's market regulators against offences related to personal protective equipment

After the rapid spread of coronavirus infection, China is gradually taking control of the situation, and the state has the opportunity to help other countries affected by the epidemic.

China has been rapidly scaling up its medical equipment manufacturing base and proposes to supply indispensable medical products.

But there are cases where China has transferred faulty test kits with received CE certificate to some countries (Spain, Australia). However, CE certification is mostly self-declared by manufacturers, as it is their responsibility to choose between self-certification or whether to seek an EU-approved independent verifier.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry followed up on April, 1 with a statement compelling all medical product exporters to provide extra documentation indicating their products met the standards of its export destination, and were officially registered in China.
Earlier, when supply situations with low grade tests began to unfold, on March 12 China's market regulators pledged to continue to severely punish also illegal production and sales of personal protective equipment (PPE) amid fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A joint law enforcement operation by the government agencies including the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) was launched in early February when more than 80 million defective masks and 370,000 other defective PPE items were seized. Market regulators investigated and dealt with 27,000 cases of illegal production and sales of PPE. The campaign saw a total fine of 230 million yuan (about $33 million), with 598 of the cases transferred to the police for further investigation and punishment. SAMR will work more closely with the police in identifying clues and penalties.

Furthermore, inside the country the manufacture of fake and substandard masks has become for criminals a means of illegal profit. Given the particular harm, market regulators have imposed fines and more than 320 cases were filed.

It is important to note the SAMR’s Price Supervision, Inspection and Anti-Monopoly Bureau reported that a number of mask manufacturers complained about the increase in their production costs, which led some manufacturers to suspend their production. With the purpose to deal with this issue, the SAMR extended its price supervision to cover not just masks, but the entire supply chain, including manufacturing equipment and raw materials.