Turkey lifts restrictions on exports of pandemic-related equipment, but shipment to UK fails standards
Turkey said it has lifted restrictions on exports of pandemic-related equipment, saying the move should help Western countries struggling with acute shortages. However, personal protective equipment (‘PPE’) supplied by the country to the United Kingdom in April has reportedly been found to fall short of UK standards.
Turkey’s Ministry of Commerce lifted the restrictions on the sale of respirators, intubators and disinfectants such as ethanol, according to a 2 April decree published in the official journal, the pro-government Sabah Daily reported.
It said the move ‘should facilitate the sale of equipment to Western countries where there have been shortages’ and explained that the sale of such supplies was previously either prohibited or subject to a requirement to obtain authorization from the Turkish government, ‘with permission given sparingly.’
Turkey itself has no shortage of respirators or masks, the newspaper said, adding that Turkish companies have boosted production of pandemic-related equipment at a time when many countries are still struggling to obtain adequate supplies of medical equipment.
As part of the project, 5,000 ventilators are to be produced by the end of May, the newspaper said. It reported that Turkey has stepped in to help at least 57 countries, including the United States, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom with medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, a shipment of protective equipment to Britain was supplied by the Turkish government after the UK’s original seller was found to be lacking the necessary export licence. However, on 6 May, media reported that the 400,000 gowns contained in the shipment were ‘useless’, falling far short of UK standards.