Coronavirus: Commission adjusts export authorisation scheme for personal protective equipment to suit current needs

Today, the Commission published a new export authorisation scheme for personal protective equipment (PPE). It reduces the list of products that require export authorisation to masks, spectacles and protective garments, extends the geographical exception (including to the Western Balkans) and requires Member States to swiftly grant authorisations for exports for humanitarian purposes. The adjustments result from a careful evaluation of needs signalled by all EU Member States. The measures remains temporary (30 days) and, in the spirit of transparency, will be notified today to the WTO partners along with other EU coronavirus trade-related initiatives. Commissioner for Trade, Phil Hogan, commented: “The scheme reflects our continuing commitment to protect people’s health and support humanitarian actions and the needs of our neighbours or trade partners. We have concluded that a short extension of the export authorisation requirements is consistent with those commitments. This scheme is also fully in line with our commitments at the G20: it is temporary, targeted, proportionate and transparent.” The new implementing regulation creates also a framework for consultation and notification of Member States’ decision with the European Commission, to make sure the exports can reach places where they are most needed and to increase the level of transparency of the measures. The EU initially introduced the export authorisation scheme for PPE on 15 March to ensure adequacy of supply of such products in the EU in the times of coronavirus crisis. For more information, see the news item implementing regulation in the official journal.