The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), vide Notification No. 44/2015-20 (dated 31st January) amended Schedule 2 of the ITC (HS) Export Policy 2018. The amendment added ‘Personal Protection Equipment including Clothing and Masks [Coveralls (Class 2/3/4) and N95 masks]’ to the list of prohibited items with immediate effect. The amendment resulted in ban on export of all varieties of personal equipment including those “used to protect the wearer from air borne particles” and respiratory masks. We believe this measure was taken by DGFT to curb any shortage of masks in India in light of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Some members highlighted concerns that due to the export ban, they were unable to export face masks to their employees working in China and overseas to protect them against the coronavirus. Accordingly, Nasscom made a representation to DGFT on 6th February 2020, requesting DGFT to grant an exemption from the application of Notification No. 44/2015-20 in cases where an Indian company wants to export face masks and any other protective equipment to its employees overseas.
Subsequently, on 8th February, the DGFT issued Notification No. 47/2015-20 exempting the following list of prohibited items from the export ban
- Surgical Masks/Disposable Masks (2/3 Ply)
- All Gloves (except NBR Gloves)
This, in effect, mean that the above items can now be exported freely. The ban continues for all other items listed in Notification No. 44.
 The Notification bans items covered under HS Codes 901850, 901890, 9020, 392690, 621790 and 630790