In its continuing efforts to protect citizens and to coordinate the response to COVID-19, the Commission has taken immediate steps to protect the availability of supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), by requiring that exports of such equipment outside of the European Union are subject to an export authorisation by Member States.

Personal Protective Equipment covers equipment such as masks, protective spectacles and visors, face shields, mouth-nose protection and protective garments. There are vital needs for protective equipment within the Union with regard to hospitals, patients, field workers, civil protection authorities.

This implementing act, adopted by urgency procedure and published today, provides for authorisations for exports to third countries.  It will be valid for a six-week period, during which Member States will be consulted on the potential adaptations and scope of the current measure and future steps.

Certain first-mover Member States have already indicated acceptance of the Commission’s requests to amend their national measures to ensure that vital equipment is available to those who need it most, throughout the EU.

The Commission will assist Member States in setting up the relevant mechanisms to ensure a smooth and coordinated implementation of the regulation, having regard to factors such as international engagements, the evolution of urgent needs within and outside the EU, and the integration of production and supply chains with such third countries.