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Issues with shipping CPAP machines to Taiwan - Any advice?
#1
Issues with shipping CPAP machines to Taiwan - Any advice?
Hi Everyone,

I joined this forum because I need some advice on a few issues. Here's my situation.

I am in Taiwan now and was diagnosed with sleep apnea several years ago. The CPAP machines here cost around 2000 dollars, which is a ripoff and more than double what they cost in the US. I don't know why. But I don't want to pay that much. When I was in Philippines, the prices were similar too. So I was gonna buy one from CheapCPAPSupplies and have it shipped to me here. However the CPAP specialist I talked to here said that if I tried to do that, the Taiwanese customs may refuse the delivery and send it back, because there are customs restrictions on CPAP machines being imported here via mail. He said I'd have to go back to the US to get it or have someone bring it for me on their flight over here.

Is that true? Can you guys ask anyone you know who has tried to ship CPAP machines to Taiwan before? Or look up the customs regulations in regards to shipping CPAP machines to Taiwan? I'm unable to find anything through Google search.

If I cannot get a CPAP machine shipped here internationally, then I'll have to wait til I go back to the US which could be several months. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do? All the CPAP machines in Asia seem to be around 2,000 dollars or so. This is a travesty I think, because what if someone here is too poor to afford it? Then they would be putting their life at risk simply because of cost. Kind of stupid. Is sleep apnea supposed to be a "rich person's disease"? lol. It seems so, at least here in Asia.

What do you all recommend?
Thanks
Winston

PS - One more question. If I have someone watch me while I sleep and they say I no longer choke or gasp for air while I sleep, does that mean I no longer have sleep apnea? How loud does the snoring have to be for it to be considered sleep apnea? And does one have to be heard gasping for air and choking for them to have sleep apnea? Thanks.
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#2
RE: Issues with shipping CPAP machines to Taiwan - Any advice?
Your best bets are to call Taiwanese customs for information or talk with someone at a US-based CPAP company with experience shipping to Taiwan. Try using the suppliers list at the top of the page.

Yes, you can still have apnea even if you don't snore and don't wake up choking or gasping. I was diagnosed with moderate apnea and had neither of those symptoms. I just never felt rested.
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#3
RE: Issues with shipping CPAP machines to Taiwan - Any advice?
Supplier #2 has a lot of experience shipping machines overseas, and has some of the most competitive prices anywhere. That is SecondWindCPAP (do not use the internet link name). Look up their site on the #Supplier List and either call or email for an estimate. They can pretty much tell you all the costs. You did not specify what brand and model of machine you are seeking. A Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset from Supplier #2 will be $599 open box or a new Autoset for Her is $729. There are also less expensive "gently used" machines with a warranty.

Diagnosis of sleep apnea technically requires a sleep study with home test unit or clinical PSG. You might be able to use a night camera or observer to see if you stop breathing, but those are certainly not ideal diagnostic tools. The machine above can show you your treated results, but even with minimum pressure, obstructive sleep apnea is usually improved. In addition, apnea is not the only problem. Very shallow breathing (hypopnea) and respiratory effort related arousals (RERA) are also very disruptive to sleep. Snoring is also a strong indicator.
Sleeprider
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com

____________________________________________
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Soft Cervical Collar
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#4
RE: Issues with shipping CPAP machines to Taiwan - Any advice?
(03-27-2020, 06:33 PM)Sleeprider Wrote: Supplier #2 has a lot of experience shipping machines overseas, and has some of the most competitive prices anywhere.  That is SecondWindCPAP (do not use the internet link name).  Look up their site on the #Supplier List and either call or email for an estimate.  They can pretty much tell you all the costs.  You did not specify what brand and model of machine you are seeking.  A Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset from Supplier #2 will be $599 open box or a new Autoset for Her is $729.  There are also less expensive "gently used" machines with a warranty.

Diagnosis of sleep apnea technically requires a sleep study with home test unit or clinical PSG.  You might be able to use a night camera or observer to see if you stop breathing, but those are certainly not ideal diagnostic tools.  The machine above can show you your treated results, but even with minimum pressure, obstructive sleep apnea is usually improved.  In addition, apnea is not the only problem.  Very shallow breathing (hypopnea) and respiratory effort related arousals (RERA) are also very disruptive to sleep. Snoring is also a strong indicator.

Thanks for your help. Ok I will try contacting Supplier #2, aka Second Wind CPAP company, and ask them my questions about international shipping. I guess I should try to contact the official website of Taiwan customs too. But there is a language barrier and that often feels awkward, since TW officials aren't good at speaking or understanding English, and I don't know how to say "CPAP machine" in Chinese either. I'll try to email them using Google Translate. It's better than nothing. 

I don't know what brand and model I'm seeking. I travel a lot and live in several countries, so preferably a travel CPAP machine would be ideal. Someone recommended to me Resmed Air Mini, which is very small and portable, but not the cheapest one. I also looked on YouTube and the experts there recommended Philippines Dream Station Go for a travel machine that can be used for everyday use as well. I also saw a Transcend CPAP machine that looked a little cheaper but is also small and portable as well, but the experts I saw on YT didn't mention it, so I don't know if it's any good or not.

What do you folks recommend for a travel CPAP machine? I like the Resmed Air Mini, because it's smaller than the Dream Station Go, but the Dream Station Go has a good humidifier and power pack, whereas the Resmed Air Mini does not, and experts recommend it more. But it's bigger and less portable. So those are the two I'm considering. What do you all think?

One more question. I have a handwritten note from a doctor in Taiwan that says I need a CPAP machine. Will that suffice for a prescription that I have to show the CPAP suppliers to order one? Do I just scan it or take a photo of it and email it to the CPAP supplier I purchase from?
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#5
RE: Issues with shipping CPAP machines to Taiwan - Any advice?
If you will have just one machine, be sure it is fully data capable, i.e., has an SD card. Otherwise you won’t have enough data to make good decisions about your settings. Since your self-treating, this is doubly important.

I travel with a regular machine. It’s a bit of a pain, but not at all bad. You should always carry it on board a plane; be aware that as a medical device, it doesn’t count against your carry-on limit.
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#6
RE: Issues with shipping CPAP machines to Taiwan - Any advice?
Quote: be aware that as a medical device, it doesn’t count against your carry-on limit.

That may be the case in the US, but is not necessarily the case everywhere. Check with your airline - you can usually get away with a lot more if you fly business class.
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#7
RE: Issues with shipping CPAP machines to Taiwan - Any advice?
The best CPAP on the market is the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset For Her. It is a reasonably compact machine, but not tiny. It comes with a world class travel case. The Resmed Air Mini is small but does not provide useful therapy data to help you optimize settings and track your progress. The Philips Respironics Go is small and has data, but does not have an integrated humidifier which makes CPAP use much more comfortable and quiet, and it uses special masks and tubes with a heat-moisture exchanger (HME) in the tube. It's compact, but you give up comfort for the size.

For the most portable solution, the Philips Dreamstation Go is best. For best therapy, the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset is best and far more comfortable and quiet. Keep in mind the Resmed also works as a limited bilevel (separate inhale and exhale pressure) which greatly increases its therapy flexibility and range. We have leveraged this "Exhale Pressure Relief" feature to greatly improve results and comfort for many forum members. If you can help us understand that nature of your sleep disordered breathing, we might be able to suggest other options.

If you go for one of the portable options, or want to consider another very experienced export solution, take a look at Supplier #33. Sistemma used to have a big presence on Amazon with very low prices, and shipped all over the world. Worth noting their price on a new Airsense 10 Autoset with mask complete is $693. He also carries the Air-Mini with mask for $799 and Dreamstation go for $639 USD. This supplier is probably the best for export to Taiwan.
Sleeprider
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com

____________________________________________
Download OSCAR Software
Soft Cervical Collar
Optimizing Therapy
Organize your OSCAR Charts
Attaching Files
Mask Primer
How To Deal With Equipment Supplier


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#8
RE: Issues with shipping CPAP machines to Taiwan - Any advice?
(03-27-2020, 09:35 PM)Sleeprider Wrote: The best CPAP on the market is the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset For Her.  It is a reasonably compact machine, but not tiny. It comes with a world class travel case.  The Resmed Air Mini is small but does not provide useful therapy data to help you optimize settings and track your progress.  The Philips Respironics Go is small and has data, but does not have an integrated humidifier which makes CPAP use much more comfortable and quiet, and it uses special masks and tubes with a heat-moisture exchanger (HME) in the tube.  It's compact, but you give up comfort for the size.  

For the most portable solution, the Philips Dreamstation Go is best. For best therapy, the Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset is best and far more comfortable and quiet.  Keep in mind the Resmed also works as a limited bilevel (separate inhale and exhale pressure) which greatly increases its therapy flexibility and range.  We have leveraged this "Exhale Pressure Relief" feature to greatly improve results and comfort for many forum members.  If you can help us understand that nature of your sleep disordered breathing, we might be able to suggest other options.

If you go for one of the portable options, or want to consider another very experienced export solution, take a look at Supplier #33. Sistemma used to have a big presence on Amazon with very low prices, and shipped all over the world.  Worth noting their price on a new Airsense 10 Autoset with mask complete is $693.  He also carries the Air-Mini with mask for $799 and Dreamstation go for $639 USD. This supplier is probably the best for export to Taiwan.


Hi Sleeprider,
Thanks for your suggestions. The Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset For Her looks great. Pretty compact and portable, so it's possible to use for travel. Plus it seems cheaper than the Resmed Air Mini. Does the "For Her" part mean it's for females? If not, why is that in the name of it?

I do not know the nature of my sleep apnea. I just know that I choke every few seconds while sleeping, and people that have seen me sleep have told me that I snore loud and struggle to get air out of my throat which causes loud noises that I don't know how to describe. lol. I also get drowsy in the daytime too, especially if I'm sitting and not moving, which is also an indication of sleep apnea.

I looked at the Supplier #33. However, there is a problem. I contacted the Taiwan Customs Office and then the FDA, after Customs told me to contact the FDA. It seems that I cannot import a CPAP machine here without a medical license from the FDA first. Otherwise, the Customs will not allow it through. However, I have no idea how to get this license from the FDA. When I call the Taiwan FDA, the person on the phone keeps transferring me to someone else, and so I keep getting passed around endlessly. It seems no one knows anything and they keep telling me to call someone else. And when I go to the Taiwan FDA website, there is no info on how to apply for an import license and no email or contact form, only a list of phone numbers on the contact page, which if I call, will result in the same thing again where I keep getting transferred and passed around. Some of the phone staff did give me an email to write to, but when I write to them, I get no response. You would think in a first world country like this, this kind of thing would be a little easier than that. 

So this doesn't seem to be going anywhere and seems like a lot of trouble. I guess the only way would be for me to go to their office in Taipei and apply for the medical import license, but Taipei is far away from me, and I have no idea whether it would even be approved. 

It all just seems like too much trouble. I might as well just get it in the US. However, with this coronavirus thing and lockdown, I'm not sure when I will be able to return to the US. Or when international flights will be allowed into the US again. I hope this virus fiasco is over soon. It's more trouble than it's worth and way overblown. 

Or I can look for a special sale or deal in Taiwan. With the global economy going down, a lot of companies are slashing prices, so I may be able to get a good deal now on CPAP machines here.

Anyway, sorry for the disappointing update. But it means I probably can't have a CPAP machine shipped here, even if you found me a great supplier. 

Btw, if I was in the US now, which supplier would you recommend to me? The same one, Supplier #33?

One more thing. What do you think of this other travel CPAP machine I saw online which also looks very small? I can't post a link to it since I'm not allowed to post links as a newbie here, but the name of it is:

Human Design Medical Z2 Auto Travel CPAP Machine

Have you heard of it? It's black and gray. If you google it, you can see what it looks like, since I can't post any links here. How does it compare with the Resmed AirMini?

Thanks for your help.
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#9
RE: Issues with shipping CPAP machines to Taiwan - Any advice?
The For Her model is the same as the Autoset, but includes an additional algorithm that increases response to flow limitation up to 12 cm. They named it For Her because more females seem to have upper airway restriction that results in hypopnea and flow limitation, but many of the men on the forum have this machine simply because it costs the same as the Autoset and has the additional Autoset For Her mode. Read this wiki for more http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php...Algorithms

You can contact Supplier #33 by phone or mail and ask your questions. They will be much better qualified to tell you if shipping is a problem to your location. You might also try Supplier #2. Both do a lot of export, and I know we have seen machines sent to Australia, Singapore, and other locations. Taiwan has enough problems with China, they have to make it hard to import a good CPAP for personal use?
Sleeprider
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com

____________________________________________
Download OSCAR Software
Soft Cervical Collar
Optimizing Therapy
Organize your OSCAR Charts
Attaching Files
Mask Primer
How To Deal With Equipment Supplier


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#10
RE: Issues with shipping CPAP machines to Taiwan - Any advice?
Hi Sleeprider,
Ok thanks. I'll try to contact those suppliers you mentioned. However, I already contacted several suppliers by email, including Supplier #2, and they all told me the same thing, which is that yes they can ship the machine to Taiwan, but they have no idea if the customs there will restrict it or not. They told me I would have to contact Taiwan customs about that, since it has nothing to do with them. I was afraid they'd probably say something like that. lol

I guess the reason Taiwan doesn't allow CPAP machines to be imported is that they want you to buy it from a local supplier, which costs around $2,000 dollars. You see, if they could be imported, then everyone would just get it shipped from America and the local suppliers would run out of business. So I guess it's a way of protecting the local suppliers.

Maybe though, with the world economy going down now, they will slash prices on them so I can get them cheaper now. I'll have to check.

Hey I got an idea. Maybe I can ask the suppliers to ship me the Resmed AirMini, and since it's small enough to look like a camcorder, just have them label it as a camcorder on the customs slip, to get it through? haha. lol. Just kidding of course. 

Btw, if I was in the US now, which supplier would you recommend to me? The same one, Supplier #33?

One more thing. What do you think of this other travel CPAP machine I saw online which also looks very small? I can't post a link to it since I'm not allowed to post links as a newbie here, but the name of it is:

Human Design Medical Z2 Auto Travel CPAP Machine

Have you heard of it? It's black and gray. If you google it, you can see what it looks like, since I can't post any links here. How does it compare with the Resmed AirMini?
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