Textiles Committee’s third Regional Laboratory at Ludhiana receives NABL certification to test Coveralls and Masks
Mumbai: The Textiles Committee, which is a Statutory Body under the Union Ministry of Textiles conducted an awareness Webinar titled “Meeting Challenges of PPE Export Market” for educating the exporters and the domestic PPE industry by giving them a broad overview about the various regulations of other countries. Since the PPEs are categorized as Medical Devices and are governed by intricate regulations in various countries, a need has felt to understand these regulations and collect them in one place for appropriate dissemination and capacity building of the domestic industry to prepare them for the quality conscious export market.
Notably, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has issued a notification on Tuesday (August 24, 2020), thereby amending the Export Policy of Personal Protection Equipment/Mask allowing free export of 2/3 ply surgical masks, medical coverall of all classes and categories (including medical coveralls for COVID-19) as well as gowns and aprons of all types. Further, a monthly export quota of 50 lakh has also been allowed for export of N-95 / FFP2 Masks or its equivalent.
The webinar highlighted the various requirements of PPEs (Masks, Respirators and Coveralls) like classification, manufacturing, certification, documentation etc. within the framework of regulations of the major export markets i.e. the US and the EU. Besides it also gave a brief overview on regulations in other important export destinations like Australia, Canada, Japan and South Africa. This webinar was attended by more than 250 participants from the PPE and textile industry.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Textiles Committee Shri Ajit B. Chavan informed that under the dynamic leadership of Union Textiles Smt. Smriti Irani and guidance of Secretary (Textiles) Shri Ravi Capoor, it has been the endeavor of the Textiles Committee to continuously work for facilitating the domestic PPE industry. He further informed that the Textiles Committee has also succeeded in getting NABL certification in favour of its Regional Laboratory at Ludhiana on Monday (August 24, 2020) to undertake testing of Coveralls and Masks for critical test parameters ‘Resistance of protective clothing material to penetration by blood and body fluids’ – using synthetic blood as per 2 International and one Indian standards viz. ASTM-F-1670, ISO- 16603 and IS16546 respectively. With the addition of Ludhiana Laboratory, now the Textiles Committee can undertake Body Coverall testing at three locations viz., Mumbai, Bengaluru and Ludhiana. Textiles Committee has also been accredited by NABCB for undertaking inspection of Body Coveralls for domestic and international markets and that the Textiles Committee is in a position to facilitating the domestic industry in giving consultancy services required for preparation of documentation dossier required for submission to the international regulators for placing their PPE products in international markets, he added. Notably, Textiles Committee has been accredited by the Indian Certification body NABCB for final product inspection of PPE Medical Coveralls for Quality Compliance review report as per product specifications in line with ISO 16603: 2004 AND ISO 16604: 2004.
This is the second in a series of webinars planned by the Textiles Committee across country to facilitate awareness about international regulations and other requirements for export of PPE to US, EU and other important destinations.
Through painstaking efforts of the domestic industry and the Ministry of Textiles and its constituent organizations like the Textiles Committee, the Office of the Textile Commissioner, Central Silk Board, etc., India has emerged as the second largest producer of PPE (Body Coveralls). India has also significantly invested in the manufacturing of various Masks.