Delays reported after China expands inspections on exported medical supplies
Delays were reported Saturday after China began requiring additional inspections on exported medical supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chinese government issued a new order Friday adding 11 products to a list of items requiring additional inspections, the South China Morning Post reported.
Beijing, under the General Administration of Customs, has mandated inspections on items such as face masks, testing kits, ventilators, hospital gowns and infrared thermometers.
Other items that will undergo quality inspections before shipment include surgical goggles and gloves, according to The Wall Street Journal. No estimate has been given as to how long the additional inspections will take. The new policy sparked reports of widespread delays to cargos on Saturday as manufacturers and traders struggled to figure out how to comply with the order. The move came after a number of European countries rejected equipment from Chinese manufacturers, saying medical masks and testing kits were defective or below standard. Beijing had pushed back on those complaints, saying that many supplies were industrial respirators and should not be expected to meet medical standards. China manufactures a hefty share of a wide range of medical supplies and has gone into overdrive to produce goods amid the global COVID-19 crisis. China’s Ministry of Commerce said Beijing has exported more than $1.4 billion worth of medical supplies in the past month, according to the South China Morning Post.