In an effort to ensure timely access to COVID-19 vaccines for all EU citizens and to tackle the current lack of transparency of vaccine exports outside the EU, the Commission has today put in place a measure requiring that such exports are subject to an authorisation by Member States.
The Commission has invested large amounts in the development of the production capacity of vaccine developers in the EU. This with the aim to ensure quicker delivery of vaccines to the European citizens, support planning and vaccination strategies with the ultimate goal to protect public health. It is therefore reasonable for the EU to monitor how the funds disbursed under the Advance Purchase Agreements (APA) have been used, especially in a context of potential shortages of essential COVID-19 vaccines. The main purpose is to offer public transparency to the European citizens. The transparency and authorisation system will require companies to notify the Member State authorities about the intention to export vaccines produced in the European Union.
The export authorisation scheme
This implementing act, adopted by urgency procedure and published today, provides for authorisations of exports outside the EU of COVID-19 vaccines until the end of March 2021. This scheme only applies to exports from companies with whom the EU has concluded Advance Purchased Agreements.
Based on the previous experience with a similar measure on personal protective equipment in Spring 2020, the Commission will assist Member States in setting up the relevant mechanism to ensure a smooth and coordinated implementation of the regulation.
This measure is targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary. It is fully consistent with the EU's international commitment under the World Trade Organization and the G20, and in line with what the EU has proposed in the context of the WTO trade and health initiative. Committed to international solidarity, the EU excluded from this scheme vaccine supplies for humanitarian aid or destined to countries under the COVAX facility, as well as our neighbourhood.