It is reported that China will apply a new testing national standard on face masks (GB2626-2019), starting from July 1, 2020. This new standard, once implemented, will be helpful for countries to unify testing standards on protective materials further. As the COVID-19 epidemic continues to spread globally, the demands for protective materials are increasing in many countries around the world. China has earned experiences in controlling the outbreak rather successfully and has become a country with the highest capacity in producing protective materials in the world. Thanks to many enterprises in China that have adjusted their production lines to manufacture protective gear, including face masks and protective gowns since the beginning of the outbreak, China's protective materials exports have provided strong support for other countries in this fight against the virus.
During this global fight against the pandemic, the import/export of protective materials faces great barriers for certification as different countries/regions apply different inspection and testing standards. Take face masks as an example: in China, face masks that are most available for purchase at the moment are mainly certified by five standard systems, including China, the United States, the European Union, South Korea and Japan.
There are online postings on helping the public to better understand the different certification standards, which is "FFP3＞FFP2≈N95≈KN95≈KF94＞KN90" (Source: www.qq.com). FFP represents the E.U. standard. N is the U.S. standard. KN is the Chinese Standard. KF is the South Korea standard. Among these different standards, the higher the number goes, the level of protection increases. Therefore, customers can refer to this to choose the right face masks and get different levels of protection. While how to create a system that different standards can be mutually-recognized via communication channels and how to efficiently promote the global supply of protective materials are among the questions that need to be addressed urgently.
In the meantime, large quantities of face masks are now being detained at customs authorities of many countries due to the misunderstanding of inspection and testing standards. Some Chinese face masks export are also affected by this. At the moment, Daddybaby, with some of its exported goods affected as well, is actively in close and friendly communication with its overseas buyers and customs authorities to resolve such misunderstanding, including checking the import/export supply chain channels and relevant customs documents.
Hopefully, countries can establish a mutually-recognizing mechanism on the standards for protective materials and enhance medical cooperation to win this war against this pandemic as early as possible.