Price mulled for local masks

February 23, 2020

The Government and the Hong Kong Productivity Council are devising a mechanism to determine a reasonable price for face masks produced under the Local Mask Production Subsidy Scheme.


The Commerce & Economic Development Bureau made the statement in response to media enquiries regarding details of the scheme under the Anti-epidemic Fund.


It said the Government has not set the price at $3 per mask, adding that amount was used to estimate the budget for undertaking to buy masks for the entire scheme to seek funding approval from the Legislative Council.


When devising a mechanism to determine a reasonable price, the Government and the Productivity Council will take into consideration the production costs, such as the cost of raw materials and factory rental.


The Government will announce the formula later and will not rule out setting different purchase prices for different periods of the year as the production costs of local masks may change over time.


A production line must satisfy stringent conditions to be eligible for a subsidy from the Government.


These conditions include having a clean room in a factory and having production machinery and raw materials for the production of at least 500,000 masks a month. The masks must also meet the American Society for Testing & Materials Level 1 standard and the factory must have obtained ISO 13485 certification.


The Productivity Council will provide technical support to organisations interested in establishing production lines in Hong Kong.


A subsidy of up to $3 million may be given to each production line and up to $2 million to each additional production line in the same factory. The actual subsidy amount for each production line depends mainly on its production capacity with the principle of higher the production capacity, the more the subsidy.


The Government and the council are studying the subsidy criteria having regard to the capital cost of establishing a production line, and will publicise the details later.


The policy objective of the scheme is to facilitate the establishment of mask production lines in Hong Kong as soon as possible to stabilise the supply of masks in the short term and to build up stock to meet the future need in the long run, the Government said.


Applications from all organisations interested in establishing mask production lines in Hong Kong are welcome.


The Government will scrutinise every application in an open, fair and transparent manner.

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