EU extends export authorisation regime of Covid-19 vaccines

The measure is targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary and is fully consistent with the EU's international commitments

Due to sustained delays in some of the deliveries of vaccines to the EU, the Commission decided to extend until end of June this year the transparency and authorisation mechanism for exports of Covid-19 vaccine outside the Union.

The authorisation mechanism only applies to exports from companies with which the EU has concluded Advance Purchase Agreements. These are Astra Zeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, BioNtech-Pfizer, CureVac, and Moderna. The deals commit the drugmakers to deliver to EU27 a pre-agreed number of vaccines.

This regime was put in place on 30 January with a timeframe lasting until the 12 March and the new regulation extends its duration with three and a half months. Since its start, 249 export requests to 31 different countries have been granted for a total of 34,090,267 doses, as they did not threaten the contractual engagements between the EU and the vaccine producers. Only one export request was not granted.

The mechanism also provides clarity by identifying the customs codes for the active substances covered by the measure.

This measure is targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary and is fully consistent with the EU's international commitments under the World Trade Organization and the G20, the Commission explained.

The first weeks of the application of this instrument have shown that the trade disruption feared by many did not take place and since the measure was introduced, shipments were authorised to more than 30 countries, EC Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis said.

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