Customs authority reaffirms standard for mask export

Thursday, Apr 02, 2020 08:02

Consignments suspected of being medical masks were seized on March 31 by the Noi Bai International Airport Customs Branch. — Photo

The General Department of Viet Nam Customs has reaffirmed it only handles procedures for exporting medical face masks with the State’s permission and it must ensure supervision to avoid fraud for other types of face masks.

The statement, published on, reacted to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s feedback on March 30 about some media reports that enterprises were struggling to export cloth masks due to problems in distinguishing between medical masks and cloth masks, especially antibacterial cloth masks.

The customs authority said it has directed provincial customs department to handle procedures for exporting medical face masks if they are for humanitarian aid and international assistance conducted by the Government or masks of enterprises that signed export contracts with foreign partners before March 1.

The rules are part of a Government resolution dated February 28 on export licensing for face masks amid the COVID-19 battle.

Non-medical masks do not need an export permit.

To avoid fraud, on March 27, the department instructed local customs agencies to physically inspect goods declared as non-medical masks to ensure they don't meet standards to be considered medical grade.

If the goods are not medical masks, officials will clear them for export.

If there are insufficient grounds to identify the products as medical masks, the authority will seek expert opinions from the Institute of Medical Equipment and Works under the Ministry of Health or other competent inspection organisations.

The customs authority said it has directed local customs agencies to facilitate export procedures for business and will handle cadres and civil servants violating rules and hassling business.

As the fight against the disease intensifies, boosting demand for surgical masks both domestically and internationally, the customs authority is reinforcing inspection and handling acts of illegal export or illegal transportation of surgical masks and has seized many suspect cases.

The latest seizure was on March 31 when Noi Bai International Airport Customs Branch seized 800,000 medical masks declared as rubber yoga mats and T-shirts. – VNS

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