Clothes Export Promotion Board (AEPC) has approached the Center to seek guidance and clarification on the export of masks, gloves, protective clothing, protective clothing, and non-surgical protective clothing.
The Tirupur Exporter Association (TEA) and the Indian Texpreneur Federation (ITF) have also made statements seeking clarification regarding non-surgical cotton masks and various blends that may be supplied to international buyers.
The ITF, which represents the Tamil Nadu textile value chain, has approached the textile ministry which seeks to remove the export ban on fashion fabric masks. The ITF said the textile groups Coimbatore and Tirupur had received requests to supply fashion masks to global brands and importers with an urgent need for at least 50 crore masks.
“This alone can produce an immediate business of ₹ 1,000 crore and ₹ 4,000 crore for one year,” said ITF coordinator Prabhu Dhamodharan.
AEPC Chairperson A Sakthivel in his letter to the trade ministry said exporters cannot export all types of masks, including those not mentioned in the notice – such as knitted masks or ordinary cotton woven masks, which are not for surgical purposes.
In his representative for the textile ministry, TEA president Raja M Shanmugham said while the March 19 notice about the export of surgical and disposable masks did not prohibit masks made of knitted fabrics, customs authorities would not allow their exports.
“Fashion brands such as Marc O ‘Polo, Camp David, Lerros, et al have approached me with questions related to non-surgery face mask“Shanmugam said.
The mask is not only an accessory, it will be an important component of clothing. Brands have begun discussing prototypes about how masks will be used with certain clothing, he told ET.
“Initially, the brand had asked for masks with solid colors in cotton and blends, but eventually, the masks would be synchronized with the garment design,” Shanmugham said.