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Centre not to ban export of drugs, may impose limits in case of surge

The restrictions would happen by requiring exporting companies to furnish no objection certificates (NOCs) to ship these products, allowing for the possibility of these products to continue moving out of the country, they said.

Written by Prabha Raghavan | New Delhi | Updated: February 21, 2020 4:34:06 am
novel coronavirus, exports of medicines, coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus China, pharma secotor coronavirus, Indian express According to the DGFT, an export ban means the company is not permitted to export any quantity of the product.

The government “will not ban” exports of medicines and their ingredients in the wake of the recent novel coronavirus outbreak in China. Instead, it will limit the quantity allowed out of the country if it feels there is a sudden surge in shipments, senior government officials told The Indian Express.

The restrictions would happen by requiring exporting companies to furnish no objection certificates (NOCs) to ship these products, allowing for the possibility of these products to continue moving out of the country, they said.

“There is no question of a ban. What we have sought is a restriction on exports,” said a senior government official close to the development on condition of anonymity.

If it becomes operational, the restrictions would be reviewed after 15 days, said another official.

“We’ve already asked them (industry) to provide details of APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) in stock. During this period, we have asked DGFT to restrict the exports while we understand the situation (of availability of these products),” the official said.

The clarification follows reports that the Department of Pharmaceuticals had asked the Directorate General of Foreign Trade to ban the export of 12 drugs and their key ingredients.

According to the DGFT, an export ban means the company is not permitted to export any quantity of the product. A restriction on exports means the product can be exported only after obtaining authorisation from the offices of the DGFT.

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