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.