Scrambling to import thermometers to the U.S. for a medical staff or as inventory on retail store shelves? The process of importing thermometers spikes to new degrees of importance.
Preparing to import thermometers to the U.S. is a high stakes business these days for conducting regular temperature checks in monitoring potential health emergencies including seasonal illness to more critical situations such as pandemics. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) lists fever as one of the symptoms of viruses and other illnesses. It’s important to be able to track a fever, especially if it spikes above 101 degrees or higher. This could signal infection, so a thermometer is needed to know how high your body temperature has risen.
Everyone may have thought they owned a thermometer, but either it no longer works or someone borrowed it and it’s missing in action. The onset of a contagious disease highlights the need to pay attention to body temperature as it relates to overall health. However, finding a thermometer on store shelves is a tall order of late. Figuring out how to import thermometers to the U.S. is where USA Customers Clearance, powered by AFC International, can effectively get the job done.
In the U.S., all thermometers are not created equal. While the basic concept of thermometers is to capture body temperature, they differ in how the device works to take the reading. And with a variety of measurements, the cost of thermometers also spans the gamut. Basic thermometers are found in personal or residential settings while more advanced models are typically used in medical settings from doctor offices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers or long-term nursing facilities.
· Clinical electronic
Regardless of the type of thermometer, they are all difficult if not impossible to find in the U.S. currently. The rush to purchase thermometers is directly related to the device signaling a high body temperature which could mean your body is fighting an infection of some sort. The push to import thermometers to the U.S., in most cases, is considered expedited freight to keep up with the growing wave of demand with diminished supply.
The majority of medical thermometers sold in the United States are imported from a number of countries including China, Europe, Japan, and Mexico among the top. While a number of manufacturers are based in the United States, the supply chain to fulfill the demand also relies on importing thermometers.
It depends on the design and functionality of the thermometer which uses a part of the body as a source to obtain a temperature reading. The point of source will vary by model of thermometer and how the user wants to record. There is no one standard measurement.
However, USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International, is able to assist with every stage of the importing process.
In an effort to routinely check temperature readings to keep track if there are spikes, those at home may rely on an oral device that gives a digital reading. These are the ones found on store shelves from the neighborhood pharmacy, big box retailer or even grocery store. Typically, these thermometers are less expensive at the retail level and similar ones can be ordered online.
By comparison, the thermometers used in the hospital are more advanced and designed for the rigors of taking patient temperatures multiple times during a day. It may be more effective for thermometers in medical settings to be no-touch or use an ear or temple to obtain a reading. Clinical thermometers are usually requested in bulk by the individual hospital or through a medical supplier.
Workplaces have also become the frontline for scanning employees upon entering the building. It’s one additional step to help curb the spread of infectious diseases. Thermometers used to scan workers daily may differ a bit from those in a healthcare setting. Add to that scanning large groups such as at airports or other venues. However, the objective is to see if anyone has symptoms before being exposed to others.
The intended use of a thermometer does not determine how they are imported since all documentation is the same. There are a number of requirements involved in how to import thermometers to the U.S.
In response to the current pandemic, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relaxed policies requiring manufacturers submit documentation before marketing thermometers in the U.S. to expedite the importing process. The premarket notification under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) is not required by the FDA while the pandemic is classified as a public health crisis. However, by relaxing this policy, the FDA does not certify the authenticity of the devices. Clinical electronic thermometers are listed as Class II devices by section 21 CFR or Code of Federal Regulations.
The FDA regularly updates various policies to respond to the urgency of need during the pandemic. Clinical thermometers are grouped under personal protective equipment or PPE.
A customs bond is required whenever importing goods from outside the United States. The value of the shipment will be used to determine the type of bond or insurance for items like thermometers.
Generally, goods with a value of $2,500 or have additional agency oversight must have the required documents on file as well to get through customs. The process can be difficult to navigate when it comes to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) so it’s advised to know what is needed ahead of schedule.
Here’s a checklist of the basic documents needed:
2. Packing List
3. Bill of Lading
4. Arrival Notice
In addition, more information is requested based on the country of origin and other factors.
The importance of including and completing required documents and complying with all regulations cannot be overstated. The CBP and other Partner Government Agencies are vigilant in monitoring all imports.
On June 4th, 2020 the CBP announced massive numbers of product seizures. Many of these products were directly related to health and safety of U.S. citizens including facemasks, testing kits, prescription drugs, and more. Importing thermometers from China requires an even more meaured approach due to the often sensitive trade relations between the U.S. and China
Our team of licensed customs brokers at USA Customs Clearance work with you to ensure that your shipment is in compliance with CBP and other required government agencies.
Whether it’s a thermometer needed for a family or a hospital needing more of the devices, USA Customs Clearance, powered by AFC International, can accommodate questions in a consultation session. You don’t know what to ask? Unsure of where to even begin? Why not schedule some time to get some advice from those who know what it takes to import goods from around the globe? We can also help you import other important items, including how to import UV lights for disinfecting, importing face masks and more.
Sessions are designed to maximize time and cover the most amount of information. The consulting services are easy to schedule with a customs broker expert. Connect with us today by getting a quote or call us at 855-912-0406.
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