The Indian government has lifted curbs on exports of nonwoven fabrics of 25-70 GSM (grams per square metre) with ITCHS Codes 560312 and 560392, used to make masks and coveralls. However, export of melt blown fabric of all GSM continue to be prohibited for outbound shipments. Export of all nonwoven fabrics was banned in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under the ministry of commerce & industry, has issued a notification on ‘Amendment in Export Policy of textile raw material for masks and coveralls’, which states: “The Notification No. 18 dated July 13, 2020 is amended to the extent that only melt blown fabric of any GSM is prohibited for export. All other nonwoven fabrics of any GSM (including of GSM 25-70 which were earlier prohibited) are freely allowed for exports.”
In March this year, the DGFT had prohibited exports of textile raw materials for masks and coveralls, and surgical or disposable masks. Subsequently, on July 13, DGFT allowed exports of nonwoven fabric other than 25-70 GSM, while continuing to prohibit exports of fabric of 25-70 GSM.
The Non-Woven Federation of India (NWFI) had recently urged the government to remove restrictions on export of spunbound nonwoven fabric of 25-70 GSM. Making the plea, NWFI president Suresh Patel had said, “This policy of partially lifting of ban on nonwoven fabric exports is technically not correct, as there is no differentiation in manufacturing facilities on the basis of GSM.”