Cautious preparation from the production stage:
According to Mr Tran Thanh Hai – Deputy Director of Import and Export Department – Ministry of Industry and Trade, the timely transition to masks production to serve the needs of disease prevention domestically as well as exports have helped many businesses assure production and employment for workers.
“Resolution 60/NQ-CP of the Government has just been issued, allowing the export of unlimited quotas of masks, once again opening the door for textile enterprises to take advantages of opportunities at this moment” – so spoke Mr Tran Thanh Hai.
Mr Tran Thanh Hai also said that importing countries all have regulations on mask quality control. Especially, the CE label (proof of products meeting requirements in terms of safety, health and environmental protection) in EU and FDA certification in the US (regulations to monitor the safety of the products circulating in US market). Recently, many businesses reported having difficulties applying for CE and FDA.
Regarding the CE label, Mr Dinh Ngoc Long – Principal auditor of the Vietnam Certification Center (Quarcert) – noted: “Enterprises need to carefully research the production directives for each applicable product according to the commodity standards issued by EU. Additionally, it is necessary to identify production processes, testing methods, specifications and product designs according to national standards.”
As for the FDA certificate, according to Mr Tran Anh Tuan, Chief Auditor of Quarcert, all FDA –controlled items must be registered for approval before being marketed. In particular, the steps, to get the FDA, include registration, declaration, payment, waiting for results. “Especially, businesses need to prepare for the FDA review procedure at any time without prior notice” – Mr Tran Anh Tuan emphasized.
Also according to experts, in the long term, in order export facial masks into fastidious countries such as the USA or EU, declaration process needs to be thoroughly prepared by enterprises from the production stage to minimize risks & improve competitiveness.
Focusing on technical standards
Currently, the export of masks is considered as a “bright bet” for textile and apparel enterprises in the time severe shortage. Vietnam’s masks have also been exported to Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. However, it is necessary to take into account the competition when countries, which have developed textile and apparel manufacturing industries such as China, India and Pakistan, restore their production.
Mr Tran Thanh Hai said that at the time of the outbreak, the EU and the USA could allow imported masks without CE and FDA. However, it is only temporary, when the disease cools off, the CE, FDA certificate is a prerequisite for Vietnam’s masks to enter these markets. Therefore, right now, businesses need to pay attention to meeting the standards, creating a “passport” that helps Vietnam’s masks go deeper into the EU and US markets, avoiding mass production of masks without abiding by any technical standards, not only will it result in masks not being able to export but can cause unnecessary economic losses for businesses.