Government export policy amended for sanitizers, medicines, medical and diagnostic kits

Government export policy amended for the export of sanitizers, diagnostic kits and medicines amid lockdown. The government of India took necessary measures to avoid any shortage of essentials including sanitizers to fight the pandemic.

Export of Alcohol-Based Sanitizers Restricted 

The government of India has banned the export of alcohol-based sanitizer in a notification released by the Department of Commerce. The amendment comes after the government said in a release that exports of sanitizers would be banned. However, the government permitted the trading of non-alcohol based sanitizers as they are not effective in killing the coronavirus. The alcohol-based sanitizers contain a combination of isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, or n-propanol, with versions containing 60% to 95% alcohol.

Also, the USFDA, along with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the use of hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol to kill coronavirus. Moreover, the government has banned various medical equipment, including ventilators to artificial respiratory apparatus, oxygen therapy apparatus, and breathing appliances.

With an increasing number of coronavirus cases, the country could have faced a shortage of hand sanitizers if the government had not banned the exports. Though companies such as Tata Chemicals and NIVEA India have taken up the production of hand sanitizers, the government does not want to take a risk by allowing exports

Diagnostic kits

The DGFT also notified on restriction on the export of diagnostic kits or laboratory reagents along with sanitizers amid the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier, the shipping of these was unrestricted. Now, the exporters will need to obtain a license from DGFT for outbound shipments.

Export of Hydroxychloroquine and Paracetamol Restricted

The Indian government has banned the export of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol. However, the government has now lifted the restrictions, and now the drugs can be exported to foreign governments only and not to private companies. The decision will help the countries which are in dire need of the same. The Department of Pharmaceuticals will see the impact of the country’s requirement on India’s availability of the drugs. Then, it will recommend the DGFT to give a license.

Restrictions on Import of silver

The government has restricted the import of silver. The government has allowed import of silver in the form of powder, unwrought, sheets, and tube through agencies nominated by RBI (in banks) and DGFT (in others). However, this amendment exempts its import under advance authorization and supply directly by foreign buyers to exporters.

The government released a notification to ban surgical masks export from India completely.