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Navigating the CDSCO Approval Process for Imported New Medical Devices


CDSCO Approval Process for Imported New Medical Devices

Obtaining approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for imported new medical devices in India is a comprehensive process that involves several steps, covering documentation, testing, and regulatory compliance. The CDSCO, under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, regulates the import, manufacture, and sale of medical devices in India. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the steps involved:

Step 1: Classification of the Medical Device

Before initiating the approval process, it is crucial to accurately classify the medical device as per the Medical Devices Rules, 2017. The classification determines the regulatory pathway and the applicable documentation and testing requirements.

Step 2: Appointment of an Indian Authorised Agent

For imported medical devices, an Indian Authorised Agent must be appointed. This agent acts as a liaison between the foreign manufacturer and the CDSCO. The agent is responsible for submitting applications, responding to queries, and facilitating communication with the regulatory authorities.

Step 3: Preparation of Technical Documentation

The submission of comprehensive technical documentation is a crucial requirement. This documentation typically includes:

a. Device Description and Specifications:

  • Detailed technical specifications of the medical device.
  • Information on intended use and indications for use.

b. Design and Manufacturing Information:

  • Details of the manufacturing process and quality control measures.
  • Compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

c. Risk Analysis and Mitigation:

  • A risk analysis report highlighting potential hazards and risk mitigation strategies.

d. Biocompatibility and Sterility:

  • Testing reports demonstrating biocompatibility and sterility of the device.

e. Clinical Data (if applicable):

  • Clinical trial data supporting safety and efficacy, especially for high-risk devices.

Step 4: Compilation of Legal Documents

Prepare the necessary legal documents, including:

  • Free Sale Certificate: A certificate issued by the regulatory authority in the country of origin indicating that the medical device is freely sold in that country.
  • Power of Attorney: A document authorising the Indian Authorised Agent to act on behalf of the foreign manufacturer.
  • ISO Certification: ISO 13485 certification for quality management systems related to medical devices.
  • Non-Clinical and Clinical Data (if applicable): Comprehensive data demonstrating the safety and performance of the medical device.

Step 5: Submission of Application to CDSCO

Submit the application for an import license along with all required documents to the CDSCO through the online SUGAM portal. Ensure that the application is complete and accurate to avoid unnecessary delays.

Step 6: Review and Verification by CDSCO

The CDSCO reviews the submitted documentation for completeness and compliance with regulatory requirements. This involves a thorough examination of the technical, legal, and clinical aspects of the application.

Step 7: Testing of the Medical Device

The CDSCO may require testing of the medical device to ensure compliance with safety and performance standards. Testing may be conducted by accredited laboratories, and the results should be included in the application.

Step 8: Clarifications and Queries

During the review process, the CDSCO may raise queries or request additional information. Promptly respond to these queries to avoid delays in the approval process.

Step 9: Issue of Import License

Once the CDSCO is satisfied with the submitted documents and any required testing, they issue the import license. This license authorises the import and sale of the medical device in India.

Step 10: Post-Market Surveillance

After obtaining the import license, complying with post-market surveillance requirements is essential. Monitor the performance of the medical device in the market, report adverse events, and ensure ongoing compliance with regulatory standards.


Obtaining CDSCO approval for imported new medical devices is a meticulous and time-consuming process that demands a thorough understanding of regulatory requirements. Ensuring accurate documentation, adherence to testing standards, and effective communication with regulatory authorities are critical to a successful approval process. Engaging with experienced regulatory consultants and staying updated on evolving regulations can streamline the approval journey and facilitate timely market access for the medical device.

Diksha Khiatani

A writer by day and a reader at night. Emerging from an Engineering background, Diksha has completed her M. Tech in Computer Science field. Being passionate about writing, she started her career as a Writer. She finds it interesting and always grabs time to research and write about Environmental laws and compliances. With extensive knowledge on content writing, she has been delivering high-quality write-ups. Besides, you will often find her with a novel and a cuppa!