Non-medical mask manufacturers urged to get clarification on SIRIM process

by AZREEN HANI / pic credit: SIRIM

SIRIM Berhad subsidiary, Sirim QAS International urges relevant parties in the non-medical face masks manufacturing to contact them for any further clarification and advice on the testing and certification processes.

Sirim QAS International CEO Nur Fadhilah Muhammad, said in a statement today that they are ready to help non-medical face masks manufacturers and importers demonstrate compliance with regulations.

Read more: Gazette for non-medical face masks postponed

“These days, there are so many non-medical face masks in the market. Consumers need to know that the ones they buy are of good quality, are safe and perform their function well. Our tests determine whether they protect users from infectious agents and whether they are comfortable to use as well as allow the users to breathe easily,” she said.

“At Sirim Qas International, we have the safety of the consumers utmost in our minds. This has always been the end objective of all our testing and certifications, on any product or service. We bring that same diligence and scrutiny to face masks, which not only play an important role in protecting the rakyat from Covid-19, but will also continue to be needed for general public health and hygiene,” she added.

SIRIM QAS International further said that the inspection is done for all types of non-medical face masks, which are tested according to SIRIM 40, CWA 17553, AFNOR SPEC S76-001, MS 2323 or BS EN 149 standards. 

Only after undergoing certification audit and passing all tests will a product be given the MS SIRIM label, which is recognised by consumers as an assurance that it is fit for purpose and safe to use. 

The firm has been testing and certifying non-medical face masks since 2016.

Last week, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) announced that effective 1 January 2023, non- medical face masks need to have SIRIM certification and labelling before they are sold in Malaysia.

Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said his ministry is constantly reviewing and developing new legislations on safety standards for consumer goods, in line with the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 1999 and the Trade Descriptions Act 2011.

“However, we understand the concerns over the possibility of price hike for non-medical face masks and electronic cigarette devices.

“In this regard, I assure you that Sirim will not place any additional cost on the manufacturers and importers of non-medical face masks and electronic cigarette devices,” he said.

This decision comes after extensive research and dialogue by KPDNHEP with The Ministry of Health, Malaysia Productivity Corporation, Department of Standards Malaysia, Royal Malaysian Customs and Attorney General’s Office. 

This order was also notified to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Technical Barrier to Trade Committee and received no objections from the 164 WTO members.

Non-medical face masks, which include reusable fabric face masks, single-use masks, three ply masks and industrial face masks, are used by the general public, whereas medical face masks are used by healthcare professionals and patients to protect them from exposure to infections, blood and bodily fluids. The latter are regulated by the Medical Device Authority (MDA) under Act 737 of the Medical Devices Act.

Also, in order to deter the sale of sub-standard non-medical face masks, KPDNHEP will impose very strict penalties on manufacturers and importers who fail to comply.

These penalties do not apply to consumers.

For further information, contact SIRIM QAS International Customer Service at +603-5544 6400; or WhatsApp +6019-2332511 ; or email [email protected]