Are Chinese Medicinal Herbs non-export items?

Are Chinese Medicinal Herbs non-export items?
Are Chinese Medicinal Herbs non-export items?
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The Trump administration has announced a plan to tax imported goods to stimulate the domestic economy. This plan includes a 20% tariff on Chinese medicinal herbs, which has caused concern among consumers and the herbal industry. In this article, we will explore whether medicinal herbs are considered export items and, if so, how this might affect the herbal industry. We will also discuss how you can protect yourself from potential taxation and how to prepare for such an event.

Definition of a Non-Export Item

Non-export items are not subject to U.S. export controls and regulations. This generally includes items that are considered food, agricultural commodities, medical devices, or other goods that could potentially be used for weapons or military purposes. Chinese medicinal herbs can be a non-export item, as these products do not typically fall under the other categories mentioned. Chinese herb wholesale products are also available.

What is a medicinal herb?

Medicinal herbs have been used for centuries in China to treat various illnesses. These herbs are still widely used to treat various ailments in China and abroad. However, some debate is whether Chinese medicinal herbs are truly “medicinal.” While many Chinese medicinal herbs are traditionally used for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), some may also be effective for Western medical treatments.
Chinese medicinal herbs have been shown to have a wide range of health benefits. For example, they can help improve heart health, reduce inflammation, and treat pain. Some herbal remedies can also help boost the immune system and relieve stress or anxiety. Additionally, Chinese medicinal herbs help treat other health conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
While many Chinese medicinal herbs are considered non-export items due to their therapeutic properties and their use outside of TCM, others are available overseas if they meet certain criteria. For example, some Chinese medicinal herbs considered TCM classics may not be exported due to their fragrant smell or appearance. However, other herbal remedies that do not fall within the classification of TCMs may be exported without restriction.
Overall, it is important to note that each Chinese medicinal herb has unique properties and should only be used under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.

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What are Chinese Medicinal Herbs?

Chinese medicinal herbs (CMS) are an important part of Chinese traditional medicine (TCM). They are used to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including chronic pain, arthritis, and anxiety.
Because CMS is considered non-export items, they are not subject to the same restrictions as other medicines. Chinese medicinal herbs can be exported without the usual paperwork and inspections.

You should buy Chinese herbs at wholesale prices.
However, some precautions should be taken when importing CMS. First, ensure you have a valid prescription from a qualified healthcare professional. Also, be sure to purchase from reputable sources. Many unscrupulous dealers sell counterfeit or fake CMS.

How Chinese the U.S regards Medicinal Herbs.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has determined that Chinese medicinal herbs are not eligible for export because the FDA has not evaluated them. The FAS maintains a list of “no export” items, which includes Chinese medicinal herbs.

What Factors Influence the Decision to Regulate or Not Regulate Chinese Medicinal Herbs

The U.S. Department of Commerce defines non-export items as “articles not intended for export from the United States.” These items include food, agricultural products, and medicinal herbs. The decision to regulate or not regulate Chinese medicinal herbs is based on several factors.
First, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must determine that Chinese medicinal herbs pose a risk to public health. Second, the U.S. trade representative must determine that there is a sufficient threat of trade barriers from China. Third, the U.S. Congress must pass legislation approving the regulation. Fourth, the FDA must issue an order regulating Chinese medicinal herbs.

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Are Chinese Medicinal Herbs Non-Export Items?

Non-export items are any agricultural good or service that is not a traditional export item. Medicinal herbs are agricultural goods, and as such, they are considered non-export items.
Much discussion has recently been about whether Chinese medicinal herbs should be considered non-export items. Proponents of the status quo argue that Chinese medicinal herbs have unique properties that merit their classification and should not be lumped with other agricultural goods.
The main argument against considering Chinese medicinal herbs as non-export items is economical. A study by the WTO concluded that if China were to exclude medical herbs from its tariff schedule, it would lose $2 billion in annual exports. This loss would largely be made up by other countries, who would then increase their exports of medical products to China.
Supporters of the status quo argue that although Chinese medicinal herbs may have unique properties, these do not justify their exclusion from the tariff schedule. They contend that tariffs on medical goods would drive up consumer prices in developing countries and stifle innovation in the sector.

What are the benefits of using Chinese Medicinal Herbs?

Chinese medicinal herbs have been used for centuries in China and other parts of Asia to treat various health conditions. They are often considered non-export items because their use is not limited to the Chinese market.
Some of the benefits of using Chinese medicinal herbs include the following:

  1. Non-addictive
  2. Non-toxic
  3. Have anti-inflammatory properties
  4.  Have immune-boosting effects

History of Chinese Medicinal Herbs

Chinese medicinal herbs have a long and varied history that is still being studied today. These herbs have been used for centuries to treat various ailments, including infections, injuries, and mental illnesses. Many of these plants are now considered endangered or protected, making them difficult to obtain outside China.

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How are Chinese Medicinal Herbs classified under U.S. trade law?

Since the early 1990s, the U.S. has considered Chinese medicinal herbs non-export items. This designation is based on the belief that these plants are not developed for commercial export but are used for traditional medicinal purposes in China. The rationale behind this designation is that Chinese medicinal herbs are not subject to the same quality controls as exported products. It may be contaminated with other ingredients not intended for use in medicine.
While this classification has been largely successful in preventing Chinese medicinal herbs from entering the U.S. illegally, it has led to some confusion among traders and consumers. In particular, many believe that all Chinese medical products are classified as non-export items and should be avoided. It is not always the case. Some Chinese medical products, such as acupressure points or dietary supplements, are not made from traditional Chinese medicines.

What are the consequences if Chinese Medicinal Herbs are classified as non-export items?

If Chinese medicinal herbs are classified as non-export items, this could have serious consequences for the Chinese herbal medicine industry. The export of Chinese medicinal herbs has been a major source of income for the Chinese herbal medicine industry over the past few decades. If Chinese medicinal herbs are not allowed to be exported, this could lead to a decline in demand and a decrease in revenue for the Chinese herbal medicine industry. Additionally, Chinese medicinal herbs may be unavailable at affordable prices overseas, impacting consumer choice and innovation within the sector.


Many discussions lately have been about whether Chinese medicinal herbs are considered “non-export items” and, therefore, not eligible for purchase with USA export licenses. While the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) does not have a specific definition for what constitutes a “medicinal herb,” they do list several factors that would make an item a medicinal herb the plant must be used to treat or prevent disease in humans, it must be indigenous to China, and it must be registered as such with the Chinese government. Based on these criteria, many experts believe that any Chinese medicinal herb meeting at least one of these requirements would qualify as a non-export item. Therefore, ineligible for purchase using an export license from the United States.

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Michelle Gram Smith
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