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DHAKA - The Bangladeshi government has ordered apparel trade bodies to prevent garment factories which have failed to improve safety to protect workers from exporting their products.

The Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) has told the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) to stop issuing utilisation declaration (UD) certificates to 189 'non-compliant' factories.

Officials asked both organisations to stop issuing the UD certificates - which factories need to export garments and import raw materials - for an initial period of three months to put pressure on them to bring their plants up to scratch.

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