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News article26 May 2020Directorate-General for Trade1 min read

Coronavirus: Requirement for export authorisation for personal protective equipment comes to its end

The export authorisation scheme for personal protective equipment (PPE), first introduced in March this year, to ensure adequacy of supply of such products in the EU in times of the coronavirus pandemic, ceases to apply, as planned, from today.

The Commission‘s assessment of its application led to the conclusion that it has served its purpose. The scheme has been put in place as a temporary measure and its lapsing is entirely consistent with our commitment in that respect. There have been no requests to prolong the scheme.

The implementation of the scheme also shows that the authorisation regime struck the right balance between delivering on public health needs and securing open trade flows. According to the reports submitted by Member States, exporters requested more than 1,300 authorisations based on the regulation that entered into force on 26 April. Some 95% of all applications have been approved. Also based on Member States’ reports, more than 13 million protective masks, around 1 million protective garments and more than 350,000 protective masks and visors have been exported from the EU since 26 April.


The EU initially introduced the export authorisation scheme for personal protective equipment on 15 March to ensure adequacy of supply of such products in the EU in the times of coronavirus crisis. A revised scheme, published on 26 April, reduced the list of products that require export authorisation to masks, spectacles and protective garments, extended the geographical exception for partners with closely integrated supply chains and required Member States to swiftly grant authorisations for exports for humanitarian purposes. The revised scheme also required Member States to report on the authorisations to the European Commission.

For more information

Initial scheme of 15 March and related guidance

Revised scheme of 24 April

Weekly export authorisation reports


Publication date
26 May 2020
Directorate-General for Trade
Trade topics
  • Enforcement and protection