On January 29, 2021, the European Commission put in place a temporary authorization scheme for exports to non-EU countries of COVID-19 vaccines covered by Advanced Purchasing Agreements (APAs). Under the APAs, the vaccine producers concerned have committed to deliver a number of vaccines. In return, the EU has provided upfront funding to companies to strengthen
On 9 November the German Presidency of the Council of the EU and representatives of the European Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on the review of the EU Dual-Use Regulation. The EU’s current export control framework for dual-use items, set out in Regulation (EC) No 428/2009, has been in place since 2009. The regulatory process to review this system and to adapt it to the changing technological, economic and political circumstances has been ongoing for several years.
The revision of the EU Dual-Use Regulation aims at further strengthening EU action on the non-proliferation of WMD, including their means of delivery; contributing to regional peace, security and stability; and helping ensure respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. Most notably, the EU institutions agreed to expand the scope of the framework to cover cyber-surveillance technology with the stated aim of preventing human rights violations and security threats linked to the potential misuse of such technology.
The agreement now needs to be endorsed by EU Member States’ ambassadors sitting on the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper). The European Parliament and the Council of the EU will then be called on to adopt the proposed Regulation at first reading.
On May 26, 2020, the European Commission announced that it would not prolong the Export Authorization Scheme for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) it had put in place due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Commission explained that the scheme has “served its purpose” in ensuring adequacy of supply of PPE in the EU. The measures ceased to apply on the same day.
Since April 26, 2020, exporters have requested more than 1,300 authorizations, of which 95% have been approved. As a result, over 13 million protective masks, around 1 million protective garments and over 350,000 protective masks and visors have been exported from the EU since April 16.
The European Commission has published a Guidance Note on how humanitarian aid related to COVID-19 can be provided to countries and areas that are subject to EU sanctions. The Note provides practical help, in the form of questions and answers (Q&As), on how to comply with EU sanctions when providing humanitarian aid, such as medical assistance and supplies, to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The first version of the Guidance Note covers Syria. The Commission will update it with further information on other countries subject to EU sanctions, including Yemen, Somalia and North Korea.
EU sanctions targeting Syria are set out in Council Regulation (EU) No 36/2012 – as periodically amended – and consist of a number of sectoral restrictions, such as a prohibition on exporting goods or technology which might be used for internal repression, including chemicals used in chemical attacks, and a prohibition on the local purchase and import of petroleum products. The EU framework provides for a number of exceptions, notably for humanitarian purposes. It also includes individual designations entailing notably the freezing of funds or economic resources of certain persons, entities and bodies (“designated persons”).
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the EU introduced measures requiring that exports to non-EU countries of some personal protective equipment (PPE) be subject to authorization (see our previous alert). The European Commission now announced the prolongation of these measures until 25 May 2020 and issued a modified Implementing Regulation. The adjustments result from a careful evaluation of needs signaled by EU Member States and include the following:
Continue Reading EU Prolongs and Adjusts Export Authorization Scheme for Personal Protective Equipment
Concerns about the continued availability of medical equipment in the European Union and uncoordinated attempts by individual EU Member States to block exports of such equipment have prompted the European Commission to become active on two levels.
Regarding trade within the EU, the Commission has taken steps to ensure the unimpeded availability of medical supplies. The EU measures are embedded in the new Guidelines on border management measures to protect public health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services. According to the Commission, the controls put in place by the EU Member States must not undermine the continuity of economic activity and should preserve the operation of supply chains. Therefore unobstructed transport services are key to maintaining the availability of goods. Of primary concern is the transport of essential goods such as protective equipment and supplies, vital medicines, but also food supplies including livestock. Moreover, the Commission calls on the solidarity of EU Member States to preserve the free circulation of all goods and guarantee the functioning of relevant supply chains. No additional restrictions should be imposed on the circulation of goods in the EU Single Market, unless duly justified.