China Cancels Tariff on Imported Anti-Cancer Drugs


The Chinese government has officially cancelled tariffs on imported anti-cancer drugs as of 1 May 2018.

China’s National Health Commission announced the launch of a zero tariff on certain forms of imported anti-cancer medication on 1 May, as part of efforts to reduce the treatment costs of cancer sufferers.

The Ministry of Finance previously released the “State Council Import Duty Regulation Commission’s Public Announcement Concerning Reductions of Import Tariffs on Pharmaceutical Products (国务院关税税则委员会关于降低药品进口关税的公告) on 23 April.

The Announcement mandated a trial reduction to zero of the import tariff on pharmaceutical products that contain alkaloids and have anti-cancer properties starting from 1 May 2018, as part of efforts to “reduce the pharmaceutical cost burden on cancer patients and provide them with more treatment options.”

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Finance tax department said that the adjustment would see the cancelation of import tariffs on a total of 28 anti-cancer pharmaceuticals.

The move arrives amidst escalating trade tensions between China and the US, including the mooting of a 25% tariff by the Trump administration on as much as USD$150 billion of Chinese imports, as well as a ban on the sale of goods and services by American tech companies to telecommunications giant ZTE for the breach of sanctions against Iran.