March 23: The government has imposed a ban on export of materials essential for preventing the spread of coronavirus. The Department of Customs has stopped the export of materials such as masks, sanitizers, PPE, gloves among others effective from Sunday (March 22).
Likewise, the government has also decided to make customs pass available for the import of essential goods within two hours. The Department of Customs has already issued circulars to all the units in this regard, said Director General Suman Dahal.
The department has formed a “quick-response team” to sort out any problem that might occur at the customs points. The five-member team headed by Deputy Director General of the Department of Customs, Shyam Prasad Bhandari, will resolve any problem that might surface while importing or exporting essential goods.
“The quick response team has been tasked to sort out any problems related to customs immediately,” said Dahal.
According to Dahal, the import of medicines and other related materials to Nepal exceeds the export of these essential goods. Basically, Nepal exports pharmaceuticals and other similar goods after re-packaging the imported items, said Dahal.
President of the Association of Pharmaceutical Producers of Nepal (APPON) Narayan Bahadur Chhetri welcomed the decision of government to ban the export of essential medical goods saying that the country itself is struggling to meet its demand for raw materials required for producing medicines.
He urged the government to facilitate in making the active pharmaceutical ingredients available.
However, Chhetri claimed that the drug producers of Nepal have adequate stock of raw materials to manufacture medicines for the next three months.