corona-virus 04 June 2020

EU ends restrictions on PPE exports

The European Commission (‘EC’) has announced it has lifted export restrictions on personal protective equipment (PPE) that were introduced in March, when the European Union was struggling with shortages as it fought to control the pandemic. The EC said the temporary restrictions ‘ceased to apply’ after they expired on 26 May.

‘The EC has decided not to extend the measure, initially introduced on 15 March to ensure adequacy of supply of such products in the EU in times of the COVID-19 pandemic,’ it said in a statement. After being introduced, the measure was initially extended for a further month on 26 April.

The EC said the restriction was a ‘temporary measure’ that had ‘served its purpose. It added that since 26 April, ‘more than 13 million protective masks, around 1 million protective garments and more than 350,000 protective masks and visors have been exported from the EU.’ Under the restrictions, exports were only possible with a licence.