VCN - The policy for exporting surgical masks "not to miss an opportunity" when there is huge demand for surgical masks and equipment for pandemic prevention across the world is being implemented by the Ministry of Health. Contributing to the draft of Ministry of Health reporting to Government, the Ministry of Finance proposed two options to ensure reserve masks for domestic supply but still take advantage of opportunities.
According to the Ministry of Finance in the draft amending Resolution No. 20/NQ-CP, enterprises can export surgical masks when they are already sold or support domestic health facilities with a minimum of 20% of the quantity stated in the export declaration and must meet the following conditions: they must win a bid and have a sale contract with a health establishment or have an agreement on supporting surgical masks between the enterprise and a health establishment.
The implementation of this regulation will generate obstacles in implementation.
To export surgical masks, businesses will have to participate in bidding or make supporting agreements with health establishments. Many textile enterprises have switched to manufacture surgical masks, creating jobs for workers, but they have not participated in bidding or made agreements to supply to health establishments in the country. It will take a while for enterprises to meet these conditions, which is not appropriate for taking advantage of the opportunity to produce and export surgical masks in accordance with the directives of the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, according to the Customs Law, enterprises can open one or more declarations at one or many different Customs Branches. Enterprises only need one of the documents as specified in point 2 of the draft amending the resolution, they can export surgical masks at many different Customs Branches. Thus it causes difficulties for Customs authorities in tracking the number of exported surgical masks.
From these difficulties, to ensure supply of surgical masks for domestic reserve and domestic use but also still take advantage of the opportunity to export surgical masks of domestic enterprises, the Ministry of Finance suggested the Ministry of Health select the optimal plan to submit to the Government by following one of the alternatives:
Option 1: The Ministry of Health will coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to assess production capacity of enterprises manufacturing surgical masks whether they can ensure sufficient supply for domestic reserves in May or not? If they can ensure procurement of sufficient number of surgical masks in accordance with assigned tasks in May, the Ministry of Finance suggested the Ministry of Health submit to the Government for allowing enterprises to export surgical masks without a quantity limit and not subject to export conditions.
Option 2: The case of implementing in accordance with the plan proposed by the Ministry of Health in the draft report to the Government, the Ministry of Health should issue a document to verify the number of surgical masks permitted for export among each enterprise to make a basis for customs authorities to follow up when carrying out customs procedures. The Ministry of Finance also proposed to amend some contents in the draft amending Resolution No. 20/NQ-CP. In addition, the Ministry of Finance proposed to supplement contents of cases where Vietnamese organisations and individuals and foreign representations in Vietnam may export surgical masks as gifts or presents (in cases where it is necessary to limit exports, the Ministry of Health should stipulate specific quantities).
Besides that, Notice No. 155 / TB-VPCP of the Government Office dated April 15, 2020 stated: “Agreeing to export surgical masks, isolation clothes and medical equipment serving pandemic prevention if they follow the principle of ensuring domestic demand (including reserves) and only exporting to countries severely affected by the pandemic," the Ministry of Finance proposed the Ministry of Health clearly instruct the countries suffering a bad impact from the pandemic to set a basis for the Ministry of Finance to implement.
By N.Linh/Thanh Thuy