The central government has lifted ban from the export of non-surgical and non-medical masks to the foreign countries. On March 19, the Centre had imposed restriction on exports of all types of masks amid rising positive coronavirus cases and crisis of masks in the country.
In a notification on May 16, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, amended its earlier order and allowed the export of non-medical, non-surgical masks of all types (cotton, silk, wool, knitted). "All other masks falling under ITCHS code including the HS codes would continue to remain prohibited for the exports," reads the order by DGFT.
Recently, the Delhi Customs intercepted over 5 lakh masks, including raw material to make masks, which were being smuggled to China.
The government had put a ban on exports of all kinds of personal protection equipments, including clothing and masks, used to protect people from airborne particles amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Later, the DGFT had removed surgical and disposable masks, and all gloves, except NBR gloves, from the list of banned export items. However, it had said that export of all other personal protection equipment, including N95 and other equipment accompanying masks and gloves, would remain prohibited for exports.