Masks for export - foreigners still not allowed
Surgical face masks

Starting April 9th, Taiwanese nationals living in Taiwan will be permitted to export a maximum of 30 surgical face masks every 60 days to close relatives overseas.

The exports will, however, only be permitted under certain circumstances.

The plan will in principle be limited to immediate family (parents, children and siblings) and so-called ‘second-degree’ relatives. Grandparents, and grandchildren as well as half-siblings, uncles and aunts and their children fall under this label.

It is understood that Taiwanese nationals overseas are also being limited to receiving 30 masks in the same period by the system.

Any Taiwanese looking to export masks under the new system is required to make an online application ahead of sending masks by way of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) or by applying in person at the MOEA during office hours.

At present though, a number of nations have no direct postal services with Taiwan because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and even those nations maintaining a working postal system are seeing delays in effective postal services as a result of limited international flight departures.

The latest announcement, whilst benefitting the majority of residents of Taiwan makes no mention of legal foreign residents of the country who remain unable to send masks to family members if they are in a foreign country, regardless of degree of separation.

Foreign nationals are currently limited to exporting fabric masks, although these masks are deemed largely ineffective against micro-particles according to the MOEA.

No special application is required to export fabric masks, although postal agents will require a customs declaration be filled in.


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