Some PPE Exports Prohibited to Export

The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) group issued a temporary rule which prohibits the exporting of certain personal protective equipment (PPE) used for COVID-19/Coronavirus activity for the next 120 days. If a manufacturer wishes to export PPE, it must obtain explicit approval from FEMA direct. FEMA is issuing this rule to allocate certain scarce or threatened materials for domestic use so that these resources stay in the United States. The rule is necessary and appropriate to promote the national defense with respect to the covered materials because the domestic need for them exceeds the supply.

The rule covers five types of PPE. To reiterate, while this rule remains in effect, and subject to certain exemptions stated below, no shipments of such designated materials may leave the United States without explicit approval by FEMA.

Effective April 7, 2020,
the following types of PPE are prohibited for export unless otherwise approved:

  • N95 filtering facepiece respirators, including devices that are disposable half-face-piece non-powered air-purifying particulate respirators intended for use to cover the nose and mouth of the wearer to help reduce wearer exposure to pathogenic biological airborne particulates
  • other filtering facepiece respirators (e.g., those designated as N99, N100, R95, R99, R100, P95, P99, or P100), including single-use, disposable half-mask respiratory protective devices that cover the user’s airway (nose and mouth) and offer protection from particulate materials at an N95 filtration efficiency level
  • elastomeric, air-purifying respirators and appropriate particulate filters/cartridges
  • PPE surgical masks, including masks that cover the user’s nose and mouth and provide a physical barrier to fluids and particulate materials
  • PPE gloves or surgical gloves, including those defined at 21 CFR 880.6250 (exam gloves) and 878.4460 (surgical gloves) and such gloves intended for the same purposes

FEMA has the right to adjust this list at any time. Under this temporary rule, before any shipments of such covered materials may leave the United States, CBP will detain the shipment temporarily, during which time FEMA will determine whether to return for domestic use, issue a rated order for, or allow the export of part or all of the shipment under section 101(a) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. 4511(a).

PPE Exports

What if we were already exporting these products?

Specifically, the Administrator has determined that FEMA will not purchase covered materials from shipments made by or on behalf of U.S. manufacturers with continuous export agreements with customers in other countries since at least January 1, 2020, so long as at least 80 percent of such manufacturer’s domestic production of covered materials, on a per item basis, was distributed in the United States in the preceding 12 months. The Administrator decided that this exemption is necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense because it would limit the impact of this order on pre-existing commercial relationships, in recognition of the importance of these commercial relationships to the international supply chain, and for humanitarian reasons, in consideration of the global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. If FEMA determines that a shipment of covered materials falls within this exemption, such materials may be transferred out of the United States without further review by FEMA, provided that the Administrator may waive this exemption and fully review shipments of covered materials subject to this exemption for further action by FEMA, if the Administrator determines that doing so is necessary or Page 11 of 23 appropriate to promote the national defense. FEMA may develop additional guidance regarding which exports are covered by this exemption, and encourages manufacturers to contact FEMA with specific information regarding their status under this exemption.


Importing Masks

What if I am looking to Import Protective Protection Equipment?

How to Import Masks and Other Personal Protective Equipment

As stated, in our previous post, N95 masks and other PPE are allowed to be imported into the country with lowered restrictions if going to medical professional organizations, and the FDA can be disclaimed if the masks are for non-medical personnel and essential-needs companies, such as distribution centers and the like. The KN95 masks can now also be brought in with lowered restrictions, but FDA is still being very specific on the types of masks eligible for these modified requirements. If you wish to use The Scarbrough Group of Companies to arrange the import cargo transport and/or U.S. Customs clearance, while guiding you through the FDA regulations, please fill out the following form for more guidance.

Personal Protective Equipment Questionnaire


About Scarbrough

The Scarbrough Group of Companies, headquartered in Kansas City with local presence in every major port in the world, is a complete international and domestic supply chain service provider, offering U.S., Mexican, and Canadian Customs brokerage, Import & Export Transportation Solutions, Domestic brokerage and asset-based trucking, Warehouse fulfillment and distribution services, Trade Compliance Consulting, Large Equipment and Project Cargo moves, as well as Parcel Audit Savings.  Scarbrough is widely known for its trade experts, training, personalized customer service, customized solutions, and data analytics tools.  Since 1984, Scarbrough has continued to satisfy its clients by following its motto on a daily basis: “It is our job to make your job easier.”  Moreover, our team of experts is available at your disposal.  We offer free consultations on any topic from supply chain optimization and duty savings opportunities to the basics, helping to guide new importers and exporters as they jump into the world of global trade.  Contact us now.