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Surgical Robots and 36 Medical Devices Will be Tariff Free

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Two major changes on medical device tariffs have been made, with two announcements from China Ministry of Finance on December 31, 2022, and January 1, 2023 respectively:

From January 1, 2023, China has implemented a provisional import tax rate lower than the MFN (Most-Favored-Nation) rate for 1,020 commodities. Among them, 13 types of medical devices are on the list, including:

  • Detachable coils
  • Intracranial thrombectomy stents
  • Raw materials for vascular stents
  • contrast agents
  • Dentures
  • Artificial joints
  • Artificial heart valves
  • Hearing aids (necessaries excluded)
  • X-ray tomography detectors
  • … …

From July 1, 2023, the MFN tax rate for products expanded by the information technology agreement listed in the “Schedule of Tariff Reductions to the Accession of the People’s Republic of China to the World Trade Organization will be reduced. 37 types of medical devices will achieve zero import tariffs, including:

  • Surgical robots
  • ECG therapy device
  • B-ultrasound diagnostic instrument
  • Color ultrasound diagnostic instrument
  • MRI complete equipment
  • Patient monitors
  • Endoscope
  • Ultraviolet and infrared equipment
  • Blood transfusion equipment
  • Kidney dialysis equipment
  • Vascular stents
  • Pacemaker (necessaries excluded)
  • X-ray image intensifier
  • … …

Adding Surgical Robots into New Tariff Heading

In the import and export tariffs adjusted by the state, tariff headings for surgical robots have been added to meet the needs of industrial development and technological progress. When a class of commodities has the corresponding tariff headings, it helps to promote the flow of commodity trade, is conducive to statistics on the international trade of commodities and improves trade transparency.

In addition, after having a tax item, it will be more convenient to implement import and export trade licensing management policies or tax collection and management policies.

It has two implications:

  1. Import of Da Vinci, Mako and other surgical robots will be tariff free.
  2. The Ministry of Finance document describes that “Surgical robot refers to a medical device composed of robotic arms, consoles, imaging systems, etc., which can perform complex surgical procedures in a minimally invasive manner. It includes orthopedic surgery robot, laparoscopic surgical robot, neurosurgical robot and interventional radiation surgery robot”. The description acknowledges the importance of the “surgical robots” category.

What are the Countries or Regions that Apply MFN Rates?

  1. WTO members that jointly apply the most-favored-nation clause include: 162 countries or regions including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Australia, Russia, Japan, South Korea, India, and Brazil.
  2. Countries or regions that have signed bilateral trade agreements with the People’s Republic of China containing mutual most-favored-nation treatment clauses, including: 34 countries or regions including Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, Belarus, North Korea, and Uzbekistan.

For the complete list of Most-favored nations and tax free items, please contact us or email info@ChinaMedDevice.com.

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