National

Tough export, price rules on disinfectants

By AAP Newswire

Personal protective gear and disinfectants seized by border officials will be added to the national medical stockpile as the government moves to stamp out price gouging.

Health Minister Greg Hunt's decision applies to items already in Border Force's custody, with defective items to be discarded.

Mr Hunt has also introduced a new measure to stop price gouging on essential items bought on January 30 or after.

While the rule is in place people can't sell such items for more than 120 per cent of the price they were bought for.

The measure doesn't apply to manufacturers or legitimate business activities.

Essential items include disposable goods such as face masks, gloves and gowns, as well as goggles, glasses or eye visors.

It also applies to alcohol wipes and hand sanitiser.

If found to be price gouging, people will have to hand the items over to the Australian Federal Police, where they will be put into the national medical stockpile.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says the decision will ensure items go where they need to, to ensure the spread of the virus is slowed.

"These measures have become necessary because we have seen a small number of individuals engaging in the bulk purchasing of essential goods from retail outlets in Australia, with the intent of profiteering from exploitative exporting and price gouging," he said.