Vietnam faces quality, safety requirements for exported masks

06:00 | 04/06/2020 Trade

(VEN) - Facial mask production and exports have provided a lifeline to Vietnam’s garment and textile sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic. However, businesses need to fully meet the requirements of the import markets and obtain certificates if they are to expand export volumes. 

vietnam faces quality safety requirements for exported masks

Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the Covid-19 pandemic has forced garment and textile companies to change their production, helping them maintain operations and assure employment.

Resolution 60/NQ-CP that allows the export of medical facemasks without any cap on export volume also offers opportunities for garment and textile companies, Hai said.

Hai added that the import markets have their own mask quality standards. Accordingly, to export masks to the EU and the US, Vietnamese businesses must obtain a CE marking and FDA certification, respectively, which indicate that a product had been assessed by the manufacturers and deemed to meet safety, health and environmental protection requirements.

Dinh Ngoc Long, an expert from the Vietnam Certification Center (Quacert), said Vietnamese businesses must thoroughly understand all EU requirements and make sure that their products meet all these essential requirements to obtain a CE marking.

Tran Anh Tuan, an expert from Quarcert, said businesses exporting facial masks to the US must prepare adequate documents for FDA review anytime without prior notice. Products must undergo a review of safety and effectiveness by FDA experts and achieve agency approval before they can be marketed.

They also said mask producers must be well prepared right from the start of the production process in order to increase competitiveness and promote exports in the long term, especially to demanding markets such as the US and the EU.

Tran Thanh Hai said that due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU and the US might allow the import of facial masks without CE marking and FDA certification. However, when the pandemic slows, CE marking and FDA certification will be a prerequisite for Vietnam’s facial masks exported to these markets.

Truong Van Cam, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, said Vietnam is capable of producing facial masks in large quantities. However, businesses need to fully meet import market requirements and obtain certificates to expand exports.

Do Viet