Skip to main content
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Coronavirus response to flow of protective equipment in the internal market

Clarification of export restriction principles

In response to the limited availability of protective equipment across Europe, some EU countries adopted national measures which affected the intra-EU export of medical and protective products. The Commission is urgently addressing these export bans and restrictions, as well as other measures that endanger the free movement of vital medical equipment. We clarified the principles for export restrictions in the Communication, 'Coordinated economic response to the COVID-19 outbreak' (PDF)

Guidance on border management

We have issued Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services. The guidance recalls some relevant legal provisions and states common objectives to support EU countries in their efforts. We want to protect citizens' health, ensure the correct treatment of people who have to travel, and also secure the availability of essential goods and services.

Guidance on exportation of certain personal protective equipment

The Commission has also taken steps to protect the availability of personal protective equipment by requiring that their export outside of the EU is subject to an export authorisation by EU countries. We approved guidance on how to implement these measures on 19 March 2020. The guidance addresses practical issues for exporters and EU country authorities, provides additional clarity on products covered, and outlines the assessment process for export authorisation applications.

See the Guidance relating to making the exportation of certain products subject to the production of an export authorisation and annexes (PDF)

Single Market Enforcement Task Force

Through the Single Market Enforcement Task Force (SMET), the European Commission is working with EU countries to ensure the free flow of goods such as face masks, medial supplies and food in the EU. The first meeting of the task force focused on relieving intra-EU export restrictions of vital supplies, border controls, and the need to produce more essential equipment.

See the Single Market Enforcement Action Plan (PDF)