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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Medical Device Exemptions 510(k) and GMP Requirements

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Following is a breakdown of 510(k) exempt and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)/Quality System exemptions listed by device class. All devices in this list are 510(k) exempt unless further qualified by a footnote. Only devices annotated by (*) are also exempt from GMP except for general recordkeeping requirements and compliant files.

Class I Devices

FDA has exempted almost all class I devices (with the exception of Reserved Devices from the premarket notification requirement, including those devices that were exempted by final regulation published in the Federal Registers of December 7, 1994, and January 16, 1996. Some 510(k) exemptions annotated with "\#\" are with certain limitations as noted in the footnotes. It is important to confirm the exempt status and any limitations that apply with 21 CFR Parts 862-892. Limitations of device exemptions are covered under 21 CFR xxx.9, where xxx refers to Parts 862-892.

If a manufacturer's device falls into a generic category of exempted class I devices as defined in 21 CFR Parts 862-892, a premarket notification application and FDA clearance is not required before marketing the device in the U.S. However, these manufacturers are required to register their establishment and list the generic category or classification name. Registration and listing information is submitted by using FDA’s Unified Registration and Listing System (FURLS)/ Device Registration and Listing Module (DRLM) at: https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/HowtoMarketYourDevice/RegistrationandListing/ucm053185.htm

IMPORTANT NOTE: Only the class I devices with an asterisk (*) are also exempted from the GMP regulation, except for general requirements concerning records (820.180) and complaint files (820.198), as long as the device is not labeled or otherwise represented as sterile.

Class II Devices

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also published a list of class II (special controls) devices (those devices are annotated as "(II)"), subject to certain limitations, that are exempt from premarket notification requirements under the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997 (FDAMA) or the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 (Cures Act). FDA believes that these exemptions will relieve manufacturers from the need to submit premarket notification submissions for these devices and will enable FDA to redirect the resources that would be spent on reviewing such submissions to more significant public health issues. FDA is taking this action in order to meet requirements of FDAMA and the Cures Act. Class II devices are annotated "(II)". Please note that class II devices are NOT exempt from GMP requirements.

878.1800 speculum and accessories.  
878.3250 external facial fracture fixation appliance. 36  
878.3750 external prosthesis adhesive.  
878.3800 external aesthetic restoration prosthesis. 37  
878.3800 external aesthetic restoration prosthesis. 37  *
878.3900 inflatable extremity splint.  
878.3910 noninflatable extremity splint. 38  
878.3910 noninflatable extremity splint. 38  *
878.4014 nonresorbable gauze/sponge for external use.  
878.4018 hydrophilic wound dressing.  
878.4020 occlusive wound dressing.  
878.4022 hydrogel wound dressing and burn dressing.  
878.4025 silicone sheeting.  
878.4040 surgical apparel. (II) 7  
878.4040 surgical apparel. 7  
878.4100 organ bag. 40  
878.4160 surgical camera and accessories.  
878.4165 wound autofluorescence imaging device.  
878.4200 introduction/drainage catheter and accessories.  
878.4320 removable skin clip.  
878.4370 surgical drape and drape accessories. (II)  
878.4380 drape adhesive.  
878.4440 eye pad.  
878.4450 nonabsorbable gauze for internal use.  
878.4470 surgeon's gloving cream.  
878.4495 stainless steel suture. (II)  
878.4580 surgical lamp. (II)  
878.4660 skin marker.  
878.4680 nonpowered, single patient, portable suction apparatus.  
878.4700 surgical microscope and accessories.  
878.4730 surgical skin degreaser or adhesive tape solvent.  
878.4740 surgical stapler.  
878.4760 removable skin staple.  
878.4800 manual surgical instrument for general use.  
878.4810 laser surgical instrument for use in general and plastic surgery and in dermatology. 41  
878.4820 surgical instrument motors and accessories/attachments.  
878.4930 suture retention device.  
878.4950 manual operating table and accessories and manual operating chair and accessories.  
878.4960 operating tables and accessories and operating chairs and accessories.  
878.5070 air-handling apparatus for a surgical operating room. (II)  
878.5080 air-handling apparatus accessory.  
878.5350 needle-type epilator.  
878.5360 tweezer-type epilator.  
878.5900 nonpneumatic tourniquet.  
878.5910 pneumatic tourniquet.  


7 Exemption is limited to class I category other than surgical gowns and surgical masks.
36 510(k) exempt only if the device is made of the same materials that were used in the device before May 28, 1976.
37 This device is exempt from GMP regulation only if the device is intended for use without an external prosthesis adhesive to fasten it to the body.
38 510(k) exempt only if the device is made of the same materials that were used in the device before May 28, 1976.
39 510(k) exempt only if the device is made of the same materials that were used in the device before May 28, 1976.
40 only the intestinal organ bag is 510(k) exempt.
41 Only special laser gas mixtures used as a lasing medium for this class of lasers are 510(k) exempt.