Government permits exports of non-medical, non-surgical masks

New Delhi: The government on Saturday eased mask export restrictions by permitting outbound shipments of non-medical and non-surgical masks of all types, including cotton, silk, wool and knitted.

However, all other types of masks such as N-95 and surgical masks will continue to remain prohibited for exports.

A notification is "amended to allow the export of non-medical/non-surgical masks of all types (cotton, silk, wool, knitted)," the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

On March 19, the government had banned export of surgical/disposable masks and textile raw material used for making masks in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier on January 31, the government had banned export of personal protection equipment, including clothing and masks used to protect the wearer from air borne particles and/or any other respiratory masks.

Apparel exporters were demanding ease in export ban on cotton, silk, wool, and knitted masks.

"It is a welcome move. We had requested the government for this. Now we will have huge export orders. We expect to export these masks worth USD one billion in the next three months," Apparel Export Promotion Council of India Chairman A Sakthivel said.

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