Last reviewed 27 March 2020

The European Commission has introduced export authorisation requirements for exports of personal protective equipment (PPE) outside of the European Union.

It emphasises that his is a temporary measure, is not an export ban and is in line with all of the EU’s international obligations.

“Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation,” the statement said, “the Commission has continued to keep its comprehensive response under review. In this respect, it has reviewed various aspects of the new export authorisation measure to ensure that it fully meets its objective and operates in as effective a manner as possible.”

Reflecting the integrated nature of the production value chains and distribution networks for medical and personal protective equipment beyond the EU’s boundaries, especially to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, the Commission has now decided to exempt exports to those countries from the export authorisation requirements.

A similar exemption is being granted to Andorra, the Faroe Islands, San Marino and the Vatican, as well as the associated countries and territories that have special relations with Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (so-called Annex II countries).

This change will be effective as of 21 March 2020.

Member States may continue to grant export authorisations where no threat is posed to the availability of PPE on the market of the Member State in question or elsewhere in the Union.

Given the adoption of this European approach to the export of PPE, the Commission makes clear, the EU measure should now replace any similar national export authorisation measures or export ban that had been put in place.

More details are set out in a Commission Notice available at