SCIO briefing on securing market order to support work and production resumption

A press conference was held Tuesday morning to shine light on measures taken by State Administration for Market Regulation, National Medical Products Administration and China National Intellectual Property Administration to support work and production resumption.

China SCIO February 27, 2020

Hu Kaihong:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to the press conference of Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council. Today, we have invited Mr. Tang Jun, vice director of State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), Ms. Yan Jiangying, vice director of National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), and Mr. He Zhimin, vice director of China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). They will explain measures taken to maintain market order and support resumption of work and production. They will also take questions. Also present is Mr. Chen Xu, inspector of the Department of Food Operation of SAMR. Now, I will give the floor to Mr. Tang Jun.

Tang Jun:

Friends from the media, good morning. First, I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks to all of you attending this press conference wearing masks at such a special time. Thank you for your attention and support for the work related to market regulation. Thank you for all your hard work. Now, I will provide a general picture of the measures we've taken to support work resumption. After that, you are welcome to ask questions.

General Secretary Xi Jinping attaches great importance to prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic as well as economic and social development. He has emphasized on many occasions that on top of solid epidemic prevention and control work, efforts should be made to fully support and organize various enterprises to resume production and ensure the stability of the industrial chain. At the Central Deployment Work Conference on February 23, General Secretary Xi Jinping made an important speech. He reiterated the position of promoting epidemic prevention and control and resumption of work and production in a coordinately manner. He outlined clear requirements for orderly resumption of work and production. Premier Li Keqiang has also guided enterprises' resumption of work and production extensively. SAMR has resolutely implemented decisions and work arrangements. We maintain a problem-oriented approach and implement precise policy measures. Together with NMPA and CNIPA, SAMR quickly promulgated Ten Policies and Measures to Support the Resumption of Work and Production.

In general, the fact that multiple measures have been taken is the first takeaway. Various functions of market regulation have been integrated to guide the whole regulation process. Multiple coordinated measures have been taken to enhance regulation effects. Second, swift action has been taken. SAMR acted quickly upon receiving the order. On February 15, we introduced ten measures to support the orderly resumption of work and production. Local administrations for market regulation quickly followed with corresponding measures. Third, strong steps have been taken to change governmental functions. Normal procedures have been amended. Regulation methods have been reformed and service measures have been innovated. All these efforts aim to improve the services of market regulation authorities.

These measures mainly cover five aspects. First, online services have been promoted. We are striving to drive reform to a deeper level and improve the "internet +" services model. Enterprise registration, applying for permits for food production and business, requesting qualification certificates for inspection and testing institutions and asking for anti-trust review on concentrations of undertakings can all be conducted online. We aim to make the whole process related to such services able to be completed online. Second, regular procedures have been simplified and streamlined. We've introduced numerous measures to streamline examination and approval procedures so as to reduce time and costs. We simplified the procedures that can be simplified, combined procedures that can be combined, and cut procedures that can be cut. For example, we reduced the time necessary to issue production permits to enterprises resuming or switching production as well as the wait for examination and approval of compulsory certificates. We streamlined procedures to obtain food production and operation permits. Third, urgent issues have been addressed immediately. For enterprises that shifted to production of emergency supplies such as masks and protective suits or producing drugs for epidemic prevention and control and even patent and trademark registrations related to the epidemic, green channels have been established to provide service to them and tackle special and urgent issues. For enterprises qualified for production but unable to submit required documents at present, production permits can be issued on the spot if they pledge to submit the documents later. For some qualified food production and operation enterprises, business licenses can be issued first and on-site checks can be conducted later.

Fourth, costs and burdens have been reduced. Strict measures have been taken to crack down on the collection of arbitrary charges and illegal fees. Based on the previous reduction and exemption of related fees, various certifying bodies and other technical institutes under the SAMR further has reduced technical services fees by 50 percent. Enterprises in Hubei Province, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, have been exempted from all kinds of verification, calibration, inspection and testing fees. Fifth, technical assistance and support has been carried out. Resumption of work and production requires services related to measurement, standards, certification, inspection and testing. These are the things we do as administrators of market regulation. We must ask enterprises what they need before taking the initiative to provide them with services and help including going directly to the enterprises to provide on-site services.

After the introduction of the ten measures to support resumption of work and production, we went straight to implementation and have already achieved early results. First, we stepped up efforts to facilitate enterprises' resumption of work and production. We have extended licenses for special equipment and renewed licenses by exempting reviews for 87 enterprises affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. A total of 22 inspection and testing institutes in 10 provinces and municipalities were authorized to handle 110 project expansions. Beijing alone has expedited issuance of business licenses and permits for 19 enterprises producing and selling epidemic prevention products. Procedures to apply for permits have been greatly streamlined. Implementation of notification-promise mechanism has made obtaining production permits for five raw materials for producing disinfectants used heavily in epidemic prevention and control period including calcium hypochlorite, sodium hypochlorite, bleaching powder, ethanol and peroxyacetic acid, as well as for two types of fertilizers for spring farming including complex fertilizer and phosphate fertilizer. The procedures took only one day, down from 30 days and 10 days, respectively.

Second, supervision has become more flexible. We are organizing sampling inspections on emergency medical supplies including protective suits produced by designated enterprises. We have strengthened quality supervision while ensuring that sampling inspections don't affect the normal operation of enterprises. During quality inspection of masks, for the small number of enterprises who failed to produce qualified masks, we neither fined them nor stopped their operations. Instead, we organized technical experts to visit the enterprises to help them improve product quality, determine the causes of problems and devise solutions. We strive to guarantee product quality without affecting regular production and operation of enterprises. Many provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have optimized the management of the enterprise directory, establishing credit repair mechanisms and fostering better conditions for corporate financing. Third, technical support has been robust and timely. SAMR published a list of 55 national-level inspection and testing institutions on medical devices and protective equipment. We have also released information on over 170 provincial-level inspection and testing institutions across the country. As of February 24, 16,765 test applications for masks, protective clothing, and gloves have been accepted, and 11,089 tests have been completed, which effectively provides the necessary technical support to ensure the quality of medical protective equipment.

On the whole, we are serving enterprises heart and soul. We endeavor to understand their troubles, sympathize with their worries and help them solve problems. We will implement future measures with more details and greater effectiveness. Thank you.

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