Hand sanitiser importers must get permit from Health Ministry
The Ministry of Health and Wellness says that all entities desirous of importing alcohol-based hand sanitisers into Jamaica, must first have an approved permit in hand from the Standards & Regulation Division of the Ministry, before the supplier ships the product.
With the current global COVI-19 outbreak affecting Jamaica, alcohol-based hand sanitisers have become the standard for sanitising the hands.
Although, handwashing must be the preferred choice for hand hygiene when the hands are visibly soiled, alcohol-based preparations are known to rapidly and effectively inactivate a wide range of potentially harmful microorganisms.
Bearing this in mind, the Ministry has endorsed the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers for this purpose.
However, the Ministry must ensure the safety, quality and efficacy of the products being imported for sale and use to the Jamaican public.
The Ministry says it has taken note of the significant increase in the number of entities importing alcohol-based hand sanitisers without the requisite approval.
The Ministry has therefore advised that all prospective importers of hand sanitisers or alcohol for local manufacture, must first contact the Standards and Regulation Division, located at 45 -47 Barbados Avenue, New Kingston (corner of Grenada Crescent and Barbados Avenue), so that they may be appropriately guided regarding the requirements for importation.
Once the requirements have been satisfied, the applicant submits an application using the Permit Application for Psychotropic, Narcotics and Precursors Form, MHFD 19 (yellow colour), available from the Division, to obtain permission to import.
Shipments which arrive in the island prior to a permit being approved are not guaranteed clearance from the ports, and risk being seized and destroyed.
The public is being asked to note further, that it is the permit issued by the Ministry of Health and Wellness only, that authorises the Customs Department to release a shipment of hand sanitiser to the importer.
Hand sanitisers seen on the market that were not approved by the Ministry may also be seized.
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