Export of textile masks, sanitisers allowed

Published April 17, 2020
Many countries have restricted the exports of all those goods used in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.  — AP/File
Many countries have restricted the exports of all those goods used in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. — AP/File

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to allow export of textile masks and sanitisers, Adviser on Commerce Razak Dawood told Dawn on Thursday.

An official order to this effect will be issued in next few days.

The adviser said the decision was taken in a meeting of National Command and Opera­tion Centre (NCOC) of the Nati­onal Coordination Committee.

The decision came at a time when the Federal Investigation Agency is already probing the earlier decision of the government allowing exports of mask from the country when it was madly in shortage in domestic market amid outbreak of the coronavirus.

Mr Razak said the ban on export of N95 and other surgical masks will remain intact. “We will issue necessary clarification in this regard”, the adviser said, adding the decision was taken to allow local manufacturers to entertain the export orders from global buyers.

Many countries have restricted the exports of all those goods used in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. However, in Pakistan the decisions to ban it or allow its exports keep on changing in a time of weeks.

Currently, washable cloth masks used as anti-dusk pollution masks are not banned under the list. However, the customs authorities are not allowing its exports, the adviser said, adding commerce ministry will issue a clarification in this regard.

The adviser said that surgical masks including N-95 are in shortage in the domestic market which will not be allowed for exports.

The exports of health related products are subject to NOC of Drug Regu­latory Authority of Pakistan.

A senior customs official told Dawn that he was not aware of it whether exports of textile masks are permissible or not. “We have to wait for a written order of the federal government,” he told Dawn.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2020

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