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Ban continues on export of sanitary face masks: ministry

Mar 13. 2020
Boonyarit Kalayanamit
Boonyarit Kalayanamit
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By THE NATION

The ban on the export of sanitary face masks remains in place due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, which has caused nationwide shortage, the Ministry of Commerce reiterated.

Ministry permanent secretary Boonyarit Kalayanamit said on Friday (March 13): “There are rumours circulating in social media citing an announcement in the Royal Gazette that the Ministry of Commerce has finally allowed the export of sanitary face masks; these are all misunderstandings.

“The announcenent on February 4 by the Central Committee for Price of Goods and Services that the export of sanitary face masks is prohibited still has not changed, but the committee will soon update the terms for manufacturers and exporters of specialised face masks unrelated to the prevention or treatment of Covid-19.”

Face masks for specialised medical procedures, industrial usage as well as masks that cover the head of the user and copyrighted products that Thai manufacturers were hired to make, will be allowed for export according to the criteria to be announced by the committee soon, he added.

“The added criteria will cover the regulations and procedures for manufacturers and exporters to follow in order to apply to make or export masks,” added Boonyarit. “The committee will carefully consider each application with priority placed on domestic needs and available stock.”

Boonyarit remarked that the new criteria might have caused the misunderstanding when people saw the phrase ‘apply to export masks’ and jumped to conclusions.

“To summarise, the export of sanitary face masks, or the green, disposable ones that people and medical staff use, is still prohibited by the Ministry of Commerce in the current situation,” he added.

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