This notification follows a recent commitment by G20 members to provide full transparency of all policies that affect international trade.
The coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented global health challenge, which also has a serious impact on the global economy. Trade policy has a crucial role to play in addressing both.
The number one objective is to address the immediate public health crisis. In order to do that, the EU seeks to ensure the flow of vital medical supplies, critical agricultural products, and other goods and services across borders. To that effect, the EU has taken action at its level to facilitate trade flows, as well as a time-limited requirement to authorise exports for vital personal protective equipment.
The WTO has become a focal point of transparency on countries’ trade measures related to coronavirus. To ensure transparency, the EU is both making formal WTO notifications – under the Trade Facilitation and SPS Agreements, as well as the Decision on Notifying Quantitative Restrictions – and submitting additional information to the WTO.
In this context, the EU has today informed the WTO about eight steps, either new measures or guidance covering existing legislation, taken in the context of the coronavirus crisis. This includes various fields of action touching upon various aspects of international trade operations, such as:
- Import duty and VAT relief on products needed to fight coronavirus
- Border management, including Green Lanes to ensure availability of essential goods and services
- Facilitation of air cargo operations
- Human, animal and plant health and animal welfare measures to contain risks linked to control system disruptions due to coronavirus
- Public procurement guidance relating to emergency provisions in current legislation to allow for quicker purchasing of necessary goods
- Export authorisation requirements to support the adequacy of supply and meet vital demand for personal protective equipment in the EU
Consistent with its G20 commitments, the EU is also making sure that emergency measures aimed at protecting health will be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary.
The EU remains fully committed to an open trade and investment environment. That is the only way we can minimise the economic and social damage from the coronavirus pandemic and ultimately restore global growth.
EU acts notified to the WTO:
- Commission Decision on relief from import duties and VAT exemption on importation granted for goods needed to combat the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak during 2020, 3 april 2020
- Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services, 16 March 2020
- Communication from the Commission on the implementation of the Green Lanes under the Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services, 23 March 2020
- Guidance on Customs issues related to the COVID-19 emergency, 30 March 2020
- Communication from the Commission - European Commission Guidelines: Facilitating Air Cargo Operations during COVID-19 outbreak, 26 March 2020
- Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/466 on temporary measures to contain risks to human, animal and plant health and animal welfare during certain serious disruptions of Member States' control systems due to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), 31 March 2020
- Guidance from the European Commission on using the public procurement framework in the emergency situation related to the COVID-19 crisi, 1 April 2020
- Implementing regulation (EU) 2020/402 making the exportation of certain products subject to the production of an export authorisation, 14 March 2020.
Remarks by Commissioner Hogan at the G20 Virtual Ministerial, 30 March 2020
Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit Statement on COVID-19, 26 March 2020
- Publication date
- 7 April 2020
- Directorate-General for Trade
- Trade topics
- Enforcement and protection