EU Launches Probe into China’s Medical Device Market

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Overview of the Investigation

Brussels has initiated a probe into China’s medical device market, citing unfair practices that hinder European companies from competing effectively in the sector. The investigation aims to address slow certification processes, opaque approval systems, and policies favoring domestic manufacturers.

EU’s Medical Device Industry

Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, France, and Belgium are leading exporters of medical appliances in the EU. These products range from high-tech devices like X-ray machines and pacemakers to everyday items like contact lenses and sticking plasters.

International Procurement Instrument

International Procurement Instrument

The investigation marks the first use of the International Procurement Instrument (IPI) by the EU to combat unfair competition, particularly from China. The IPI enables the imposition of retaliatory measures to ensure fair competition in public procurement.

EU’s Response to Chinese Practices

Brussels has taken a tough stance on China’s trade practices, conducting unannounced inspections and investigations into various sectors. These actions aim to address issues such as state subsidies benefiting Chinese companies and the impact of China’s centralised state procurement policies.

Tough on China: The EU’s efforts to counter China’s trade tactics reflect the complex relationship between the two entities, balancing partnership, economic competition, and systemic rivalry.

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