ADIA is the peak business organisation representing manufacturers and suppliers of dental products. Our vision is for an industry that empowers oral health professionals to advance the health and wellbeing of all Australians...................... — ADIA Strategic Plan


TPP Agreement Supports Medical Devices Trade

TPP Agreement Supports Medical Devices Trade

25th Jan 18

Summary —

For the dental industry and the medical devices sector more broadly, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement will improve the information available to importers and exporters and reduce unnecessary delays in approvals, improving standard-setting. 

Key Issues For The Dental Industry —

Australia has a strong reputation for its world-leading technology, innovation, research and development, and professional skills, with significant potential to export these across the Asia-Pacific.  In an increasingly affluent South-East Asia, there is growing demand for high quality medical and aged-care services.

The Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) has been a strong supporter of the TPP and involved in Australian Government consultations with industry given that the free trade agreement will work to reduce technical barriers to trade in dental products, and medical devices more generally, amongst TPP signatory nations.

The TPP will support the expansion of Australian health exports across the Asia-Pacific through outcomes including:


TPP Outcomes For The Heath Sector —

  The TPP will eliminate all remaining duties on medical instruments and devices and Australian exports of medical instruments and devices to TPP Parties, which were valued at approximately $1.3 billion in 2015-16. 
  The TPP will also eliminate all remaining duties on Australian pharmaceutical exports which were valued at around $716 million in 2015-16.
  Commitments from Malaysia, Mexico and Vietnam will give Australian providers of private health and allied health services greater certainty regarding access and operating conditions in these markets;
  Disciplines on State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) will help ensure Australian manufacturers of pharmaceutical products and medical devices can compete on a more level playing-field with state-owned manufacturers in other TPP Parties.
  New government procurement opportunities to provide health and welfare services in Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Peru;
  Commitments from all TPP Parties that will allow Australian suppliers to bid for pharmaceutical and medical equipment government procurement contracts; and
  Commitments from all TPP Parties in relation to government purchasing by the health department or ministry, including the purchasing undertaken by all public hospitals in Malaysia and 34 hospitals operating as State Owned Enterprises in Vietnam.

The TPP Healthcare Transparency Annex includes provisions on transparency and procedural fairness for the listing of pharmaceuticals for reimbursement.  These provisions are consistent with Australia’s existing procedures and will not require any changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The Annex does not include commitments relating to the pricing of pharmaceuticals.

The Annex is not subject to any form of dispute settlement, including Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions.  The TPP ISDS mechanism includes a suite of provisions protecting the Australian Government’s ability to regulate for public health and other public interest objectives.

In addition, the TBT Annexes on Pharmaceutical Products, Medical Devices and Cosmetics will improve the information available to importers and exporters and reduce unnecessary delays in approvals, improving standard-setting in TPP countries for these industries.  Australia’s total exports to TPP countries for these three industries were worth nearly $2.8 billion in 2015-16.  The Annexes do not impose specific requirements or standards for any products.  Australia’s ability to set requirements and standards, including for testing and certification, through the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will not be affected. 

The agreement was concluded when, on 24 January 2018 in Japan, eleven countries - Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam - reached an agreement on the TPP text.  It is expected the agreement will be signed in March in Chile.

Through the ADIA-TCPC Trade & Commercial Policy Committee the dental industry will continue to work with the Australian Government to ensure that businesses in the dental industry understand and benefit from this important agreement.

Member Engagement —

The association's policy advocacy on international trade policy is undertaken by the team within the ADIA whom receive advice and guidance from employees of member businesses serving on the ADIA-TCPC Trade & Commercial Policy Regulation Committee.  Member updates are provided at the quarterly series of ADIA State Branch Briefings.

Further Information —

For further information on ADIA's international trade policy advocacy send an email to or telephone 1300 943 094.  To keep up to date follow ADIA on Facebook at or subscribe to the Twitter feed @AusDental.

Currency Of Information & Disclaimer —

This update was issued on 25 January 2018 and please note that changes in circumstances after the publication of material or information may impact upon its accuracy and also change regulatory compliance obligations. The statements, regulatory and technical information contained herein are believed to be accurate and are provided for information purposes only. Readers are responsible for assessing its relevance and verifying the accuracy of the content. To the fullest extent permitted by law, ADIA will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred in relation to or arising as a result of relying on the information presented here. 


This information is available for your use under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence, with the exception of the ADIA logo, other images and where otherwise stated.

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