The Ministry of Consumer Affairs is working on the development of a new order that regulates the requirements that a hygienic mask must meet for use as labeling, advertising and control mechanisms. It is a regulation that aims to toughen the regulation of this non-medical product for its effectiveness against the coronavirus.

U-Mask, the air purifying masks used in MotoGP

Therefore, from the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) they urge the authorities to approve it as soon as possible “to avoid misinformation and confusion among consumers.” In the same way, the organization has sent Consumption a series of proposals on this new order for the regulation of its sale and the mandatory information it must contain.

What is the cost for a family?

The use of masks is mandatory throughout the country regardless of whether or not the physical safety distance can be maintained, but the cost for families is approximately 100 euros for a household of four.

Masks bought in Portugal by a Spaniard.
The complaint of a Spaniard who bought masks in Portugal: “20 to 1.74 euros. This is how you fight the virus”

It is a cost that many households cannot bear and, therefore, The OCU reiterates that these types of articles must have a super-reduced VAT of 4% or even 0%. In addition, they request that “the supply of free masks to vulnerable consumers who do not have income be guaranteed to be able to change them as often as necessary.”

What does the OCU propose?

On the occasion of the public consultation on the new regulations that assess the commercialization of these products and the information requirements, The OCU has sent the following proposals to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs:

  • Set a maximum number of washes for the reusable ones following technical criteria. This should guarantee adequate filtration efficiency and “the marketing of masks that advertise an exaggerated number of washes” should be prohibited.
  • Include in the labeling the maximum time recommended for its use.
  • Include “prominently” the type of container to which they should be disposed of.
  • Ban the marketing of hygienic masks that advertise virucidal properties, “since they contribute to promoting a false sense of security.”
  • Intensify market control “to prevent the use of the term FFP2 if it is not duly certified.”
  • Do not advertise FFP2 children’s masks since “it is a category regulated by a standard of application in the professional field not intended for children.