What is parallel import?

What is parallel importing all about? What are the opportunities of parallel import ? And what are the hurdles and challenges to consider and overcome? As a competent partner for regulatory and quality assurance matters in the field of direct and parallel import, we will answer your most important questions.

What is parallel importing all about? What are the opportunities of parallel import ? And what are the hurdles and challenges to consider and overcome? As a competent partner for regulatory and quality assurance matters in the field of direct and parallel import, we will answer your most important questions.

What is meant by parallel import?

Parallel imports refer to the import of goods by independent third parties, rather than by the official manufacturer or authorized distribution channel. These imports occur in parallel with the manufacturer’s distribution of identical products on the domestic market.

Parallel import of products to a country where they are already available but sold at a higher price than in other countries is particularly useful. Through parallel import, consumers have the opportunity to purchase these products at a lower price. Parallel imports thus allow for greater price transparency and competition in the market.

Parallel import of medical devices

A well-known example of parallel import is the import of medical devices. Parallel importation of medical devices leads to increased availability of medical devices at a lower price. However, parallel import of medical devices is associated with some hurdles and risks. For this reason, it is of tremendous importance to ensure that quality and safety requirements are met to ensure patient health and safety.

A well-known example of parallel import is the import of medical devices.

Parallel import EU - Directives

In the EU, parallel import of medical devices has been permitted since 2004. In doing so, the importer must ensure that the imported medical devices meet the same quality and safety requirements as the products already on the market. It is also important to note that the parallel importer may not make any changes to the medical devices.

Parallel Import Switzerland - Guidelines

In Switzerland, parallel import of medical devices is also allowed. However, there are some differences with EU law, especially with regard to the requirements for the parallel importer. In Switzerland, for example, the parallel importer must have a license from the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products (Swissmedic) and prove that the imported medical devices comply with Swiss regulations.

Can you recognize parallel import products?

In general, the parallel import product of a medical device is equivalent to the original product in terms of active ingredient, quality and safety. However, there may be differences in packaging, language of product information, and possibly price.Because parallel import products are usually imported from another country, they may be packaged or labeled differently than the original product sold in the country of import. This can lead to confusion for physicians, pharmacists and patients.

More information

It is important to note that the parallel importer is responsible for the safety, quality and efficacy of the imported product and therefore must ensure that it meets the same standards as the original product. The importer must also ensure that all national and international regulations and laws are complied with.

You can find detailed information on this in the article
What are the obligations of a Swiss importer?

Or on the
Fact sheet on the obligations of economic operators
which has been published by Swissmedic.

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