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Anvisa to regulate the import and export of research material

Next year looks as if it will be easier for health researchers in Brazil. The executive board of Anvisa, the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency, has released for public assessment the new procedures for importing and exporting scientific research material with no commercial purposes. The proposal, presented at a FAPESP meeting on November 26, is part of the federal government?s set of measures to facilitate imports for research purposes, as announced in Brasilia, on November 20, by president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, along with the National Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation for National Development 2007-2010. “One of the things that bothered Sérgio [minister Sérgio Rezende] and me was that it often took six months to one year for research material to be released”, said the president, recalling that in Europe and the United States this takes one week.

“Here, these things were treated as if they were an automobile, as if they were an airplane. There was no definition of priority. Had our researchers been running a marathon with foreign researchers, we would never have won, because while they made it there and back, we’d still be waiting for the release of our products”, stated the president.

The new rules should make it easier for research institutions, development organizations, or scientists and researchers that are duly registered with CNPq (the National Scientific and Technological Development Council) to import and export. “The council will do the registration, to make it easier to get recognition from Anvisa”, explains Moisés Goldbaum, from the Medical School of the University of São Paulo (USP). The processing of requests within Anvisa will also be speedier, with less red tape. Importing merchandising subject to special control (narcotics, psychotropics, appetite suppressants, retinoids and immunosuppressants, among other drugs) should be obliged to register for an import license at Siscomex before the product is shipped from the foreign country. In the case of the export of these products,  authorization will be issued by Anvisa. The regulation also establishes sanitation requirements for the sanitary release of material, standards of packaging and storage.