The Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Monday banned the export of rapid antigen tests, which are used to detect the presence of the novel coronavirus. In an official notification issued on August 16, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) noted the export policy concerning COVID-19 rapid antigen testing kits has been amended.
The notification mentions the export of COVID-19 rapid antigen testing kits will now be restricted with immediate effect. The DGFT posted a link to the notification on Twitter and wrote, "Amendment in Export Policy of COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Testing - Reg.For details may pls refer Notification No.18 dated 16.08.2021."
The authority stated that two categories have now been included in the restricted list post the amendment to the export policy for COVID-19 rapid antigen tests. Under the first category are diagnostic or laboratory reagents. The second category covers blood samples for therapeutic, diagnostic or prophylactic uses. It also included antisera, other blood fractions and modified immunological products.
The DGFT added the rapid antigen tests, which fall under other HS codes, will face similar restrictions on exports as the two mentioned categories. "The export of COVID-19 Rapid Antigen testing kits falling under ITC (HS) Codes specified above or falling under any other HS Code has been put under Restricted category, with immediate effect," noted the DGFT notification.
While RT-PCR tests are the most used in the country for detecting COVID-19 infection, rapid antigen tests can provide quick results.
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