On 15 March, the Commission introduced export authorisation requirements for exports of personal protective equipment outside of the European Union. This is a measure of temporary nature and not an export ban and is in line with all of the EU’s international obligations.
Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation, the Commission has continued to keep its comprehensive response under review. In this respect, the Commission has reviewed various aspects of the new export authorisation measure to ensure that it fully meets its objective and operates in as effective a manner as possible.
Reflecting the integrated nature of the production value chains and distribution networks for medical and personal protective equipment beyond the boundaries of the European Union, especially in the four Member States of the European Free Trade Association – Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland – the Commission has now decided to exempt exports to those countries from the export authorisation requirements. A similar exemption is being granted to Andorra, the Faroe Islands, San Marino and the Vatican, as well as the associated countries and territories that have special relations with Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (so-called Annex II countries). This change is effective since 21 March 2020.