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FEMA Extends Halt of PPE Exports Through December 31, 2020

On Monday, August 10, 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) announced that it would continue to halt the export of certain personal protective equipment (PPE) until December 31, 2020. With this announcement, FEMA also modified the list of covered PPE subject to the rule.

Initially, on April 10, 2020, FEMA announced it would halt exports of certain covered PPE. On April 21, 2020, it announced specific exemptions from this general halt. For more information on the original halt and exemptions, please see our previous client alerts. The original halt concerned only the following PPE:

  • N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators.
  • Other Filtering Facepiece Respirators (N99, N100, R95, R99, R100 or P95, P99, P100).
  • 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.

In its announcement, FEMA maintained the original exemptions from its April 21, 2020 notice. Additionally, it modified the list of covered PPE to narrow two of the designations, removed two of the designations, and added a designation. As a first step, FEMA narrowed the designations of the covered respirators and gloves.

FEMA clarified that the covered PPE includes “surgical 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.” FEMA added for clarification the term “surgical” because demand is limited to surgical respirators, rather than industrial ones.

FEMA also narrowed the scope of the covered PPE or surgical gloves to nitrile gloves, specifically those defined at 21 CFR 880.6250 (exam gloves) and 878.4460 (surgical gloves) and other such nitrile gloves intended for the same purposes.

FEMA removed the designations for other filtering respirators, as well as elastomeric, air-purifying respirators and appropriate particulate filters/cartridges. Finally, FEMA added designations for Level 3 and 4 Surgical Gowns and Surgical Isolation Gowns that meet all of the requirements in ANSI/AAMI PB7014 and ASTM F2407–0615 and are classified by Surgical Gown Barrier Performance based on AAMI PB70.

Separately, FEMA is requesting comments on its letter of attestation process, which it requires for use of many of the exemptions from its general halt. Comments are due by September 15, 2020.

© 2023 Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 225

About this Author

Kathleen Murphy, International trade Lawyer, Drinker Biddle

Kathleen M. Murphy counsels clients on maximizing trade benefits, making informed global procurement decisions and developing domestic and international trade compliance programs. She represents clients in duty-recovery initiatives and customs challenges concerning tariff classification, valuation, Free Trade Agreements and country of origin determinations, among other areas. She guides clients through compliance audits and validations, as well as penalty investigations conducted by U.S. or foreign customs authorities. She also represents clients in...

Mollie Sitkowski, Drinker Biddle Law Firm, Chicago, Trade Law Attorney

Mollie D. Sitkowski assists clients in ensuring their internal processes meet Customs' "reasonable care" standard. She assists clients with various aspects of trade law, including valuation, classification, free trade agreements, country of origin determinations, and auditing their import documentation to identify potential issues and risk areas. Mollie also supports clients with export compliance, including advising on export screening and classification, and filing license classification requests and voluntary disclosures with the Bureau of Industry...