On 14 April 2020, the EC began a consultation with Member States on an adjustment to the emergency export authorisation scheme put in place on 15 March which expires on 25 April 2020.

The highlight point of the new draft regulation, set to apply for a limited period of 30 days (as of 26 April 2020), is that it will extend only to protective face masks. This is based on the Commission’s view that this is the only product category where export authorisation is necessary to protect public health in the EU.

The regulation exempts from the authorisation requirement exports to Western Balkan states (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo), Gibraltar, and territories of Member States outside the customs union. The scheme explicitly requires Member States to authorise exports of emergency supplies in the context of humanitarian aid and to process the relevant applications in an expedite manner.

The regulation introduces a mandatory consultation process with the EC for each export authorisation, which will be coordinated by a new clearing house responsible for efforts to match supply and demand for protective face masks in the EU. Member States are obligated to report all granted and refused authorisations under the scheme to the EC, which will report publicly on developments.   

The EC has included a review clause that will allow it to adjust the scope of products failing within the regulation in light of new developments.

Link to EC announcement: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=2132