Kuala Lumpur, April 8: After receiving objections from several parties, finally the Journal of the Order of Business Description (Certification and Marking) for non-medical face masks, which took effect on July 4 next year, has been postponed to 1st of January of the next year.
The Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP), Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, said yesterday that the postponement was made after taking into account public feedback following the publication of the matter on April 5.
“We discussed this afternoon to provide opportunities for industry and consumers to make adjustments,” he said.
According to him, after the announcement of the public notice, the ministry received many comments, including consumer concerns.
“Consumers think that there may be an increase in the price of face masks, but SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd has assured that it will impose low fees on importers and manufacturers,” he said.
He said this at a press conference following an industry engagement session in conjunction with the publication and enforcement of the Order of Business Descriptions (Certification and Marking) for Non-Medical Face Masks and Electronic Cigarette Devices near here on Thursday, Sinar Harian informed.
Meanwhile, Alexander said, fabric-based face masks are also in the same category and need to be approved by SIRIM.
Previously, manufacturers and importers of non-medical face masks were required to apply for MS SIRIM certification and marking on boxes or packages that were easily visible to consumers when the Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) released the product on April 5th.
KPDNHEP in a statement said MS SIRIM marking must be obtained by manufacturers and importers of non-medical face masks from SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd, the authority designated by the ministry.
According to KPDNHEP, the publication aims to ensure that non-medical face masks produced or imported meet established safety standards.
“With MS SIRIM marking on the non-medical face mask, it shows that it has met the standard, quality and safety of use.
“This publication is a government initiative concerned with the spirit of the Malaysian Family to safeguard people’s well-being and protect the interests of consumers.
“KPDNHEP hopes that the issue of dumping poor quality non-medical face masks on the domestic market will be resolved with compliance with the standards by manufacturers and importers,” the ministry said.
The publication was made in the Commercial Descriptions Order (Certification and Marking) under the Commercial Descriptions Act 2011.
According to the ministry, inspection actions can be taken in case of non-compliance by manufacturers and importers. Companies that do not comply with the instructions can be fined not more than RM 200,000 and, for a second or subsequent infraction, fined not more than RM 500,000.
Individuals may be fined not more than RM 100,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both. For a second or subsequent offense a fine not exceeding RM250,000 or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both.
However, the minister explained yesterday that the fine for individuals will only be applied to MANUFACTURERS AND IMPORTERS who are legal entities or individuals who are manufacturers or importers.
“Consumers will not be subject to any action if they wear non-medical face masks without the SIRIM marking.” he said.
Asked why the ministry made the U-turn, the minister denied the matter.
“This is not a U-turn, we are sensitive to people’s wishes. If the word U-turn, this U-turn is good for people. Don’t make this (U-turn) a negative thing, it should be appreciated”- Bulletin TTKM-
Full press conference courtesy of Bulletin TV3: