Enforcement of the Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking) of Non-Medical Face Mask Order which requires manufacturers and importers of non-medical face masks to apply for MS Sirim certification and labelling has been postponed to Jan 1, 2023.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi said the government was not making a U-turn but was being sensitive towards the people’s fear and concern that this would result in a price increase.
“The postponement gives leeway to the industry and the people to make adjustments,” he told the media after a briefing for the industry in conjunction with the gazetting and enforcement of the Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking) Order 2022 for non-medical face masks and electronic cigarette devices in Putrajaya yesterday.
The domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry said in a statement on April 5 that the Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking) of Non-Medical Face Masks Order 2022 under the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 was gazetted on April 5.
In a statement, the ministry said the order would take effect on July 4 and that manufacturers and importers of non-medical face masks would be required to apply for Sirim certification and labelling from Sirim QAS International Sdn Bhd.
The MS Sirim label which indicates that the products have met the required standards would need to be placed on the boxes or packages so that it is easily visible to consumers.
Nanta assured consumers that the price of non-medical face masks would not be increased as the industry had given its word and had also been warned not to take advantage of the gazetting, using it as an excuse to increase prices.
“I am confident that manufacturers and importers will not increase prices even if they are charged for the MS Sirim marking certificate. I am of the view that the imposition of a reasonable charge by Sirim on manufacturers and importers will benefit all parties,” he said.
Nanta said before the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia was an exporter of face masks and that the gazetting was to ensure that Malaysian products are of quality standards and accepted worldwide.
The gazetting was also aimed at safeguarding the interests of the people as well as to overcome the dumping of poor quality non-medical face masks in the local market, he said.
Nanta added the action against manufacturers and importers in the event of non-compliance had nothing to do with consumers as it only involved those related to the business.