Overcoming challenges in shipping clinical trial equipment to LATAM:

Insights on ECG machines, centrifuges, and infusion pumps

Shipping clinical trial equipment such as ECG machines, centrifuges, and infusion pumps to LATAM countries like Brazil and Argentina involves specific challenges related to regulatory compliance, documentation, and customs procedures. Here are detailed examples of the challenges faced for each type of equipment and strategies to mitigate them:

ECG Machines



  • ANVISA registration: ECG machines must be registered with ANVISA. This involves a detailed submission of technical documentation, clinical data, and compliance with safety standards. The process can take several months.
  • Import licenses: Specific import licenses are required for ECG machines. The application process for these licenses can be lengthy and requires precise documentation.
  • Customs delays: Even with all paperwork in place, Brazilian customs can be slow, causing delays in delivery. This can impact clinical trial timelines significantly.

Example: A clinical trial required ECG machines to monitor patient heart activity. The equipment was delayed due to incomplete ANVISA registration. Re-submitting the necessary documents and awaiting approval added an extra two months to the project timeline. An experienced IOR helped rectify the issue by ensuring all documentation met ANVISA standards from the start.



  • ANMAT approval: ECG machines need approval from ANMAT. The approval process requires extensive documentation, including safety and efficacy data, which can take several months to compile and submit.
  • Economic instability: The fluctuating economic situation in Argentina can lead to unexpected increases in import taxes and fees, complicating budget management.

Example: An ECG machine shipment was delayed due to ANMAT requiring additional clinical data not initially provided. The process of gathering and submitting this data extended the approval timeline by six weeks. A local broker’s expertise in ANMAT requirements was crucial in resolving the issue.




  • Technical standards compliance: Centrifuges must comply with Brazilian technical and safety standards, requiring detailed technical documentation and proof of compliance.
  • Lengthy licensing process: Obtaining the necessary import licenses can take considerable time and require precise and comprehensive documentation.

Example: A shipment of centrifuges faced delays because the initial technical documentation did not meet ANVISA’s standards. Reworking the documentation and going through the approval process again delayed the clinical trial start by three months. Partnering with a knowledgeable IOR familiar with ANVISA’s detailed requirements could have prevented the delay.



  • ANMAT regulations: Similar to Brazil, centrifuges need approval from ANMAT. The approval process can be complex, requiring detailed technical and clinical documentation.
  • Customs broker expertise: Working with a customs broker who understands the specific requirements for importing laboratory equipment into Argentina is essential.

Example: Centrifuges for a clinical trial were delayed because the customs broker initially selected did not fully understand ANMAT’s specific requirements for laboratory equipment. Switching to a more experienced broker who specialized in medical equipment expedited the process, but the initial delay cost the trial an additional two months.

Infusion Pumps



  • Rigorous ANVISA standards: Infusion pumps must meet stringent ANVISA standards, which include detailed documentation on the device’s safety, efficacy, and quality.
  • Coordination with customs: Effective coordination with customs officials and ensuring all paperwork is correct can help avoid lengthy delays.

Example: An infusion pump shipment was delayed due to a miscommunication between the IOR and customs officials, resulting in incomplete documentation. Correcting the paperwork and resubmitting it to customs added an additional month to the delivery time. Ensuring that the IOR had thorough knowledge of the required documentation from the outset could have prevented this issue.



  • Detailed ANMAT approval process: Infusion pumps require thorough documentation for ANMAT approval, including clinical data and safety information.
  • Economic fluctuations: The unpredictable economic situation in Argentina can affect import taxes and fees, making it difficult to predict final costs.

Example: An infusion pump shipment faced delays because of a sudden change in import tax regulations, which increased costs unexpectedly. The company had to re-budget and obtain additional funds, causing a delay of six weeks. Regularly monitoring economic conditions and having contingency funds could mitigate such risks.

Mitigation strategies

  • Detailed planning: Ensure all documentation (technical, clinical, safety) is complete and complies with local regulations before shipping.
  • Experienced partners: Work with experienced IORs and customs brokers familiar with ANVISA and ANMAT regulations and requirements.
  • Local representation: Having a local representative can help navigate regulatory hurdles and expedite the approval and customs clearance process.
  • Regular monitoring: Keep abreast of regulatory and economic changes in the target countries to adapt strategies promptly.

At Clinichain, we offer top-tier medical equipment and full-scale solutions tailored to your trial needs. By understanding these specific challenges and implementing effective mitigation strategies, our expert team can navigate the complexities of shipping ECG machines, centrifuges, and infusion pumps to LATAM countries more efficiently.