EU ushers in temporary COVID-19 vaccine export transparency measures: 'The system will protect the advanced purchase agreements already signed'

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/lakshmiprasad S
© GettyImages/lakshmiprasad S

Related tags Vaccine COVID-19

The Commission has today put in place a measure that requires companies it has secured COVID-19 vaccine deals with to notify the authorities in member states about any intention to export vaccines produced in the EU.

The system will allow the EU executive to know if those vaccines are being exported out of the EU. 

The Commission said it was reasonable for the EU to monitor how the funds disbursed under the Advance Purchase Agreements (APAs) with drug makers have been used, especially in a context of potential shortages of essential COVID-19 vaccines.

The measure is intended to run until the end of March 2021. 

The system will "protect the advanced purchase agreements already signed," ​EU health commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, said in a press conference today.

The EU gave upfront funding to companies to build the necessary manufacturing capacity to produce vaccines so deliveries can start as soon as they are authorized, she said. “We now need transparency on where the vaccines we secured are going and ensure that they reach our citizens.”

"We are not in a race against any country. The only race we are in is the one against the virus,"​ she stressed. "It is important to know that the commitments in the APAs are being respected," ​she reiterated.

Highlighting that the measure was targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary, the EU executive said it was also consistent with the EU's international commitment under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the G20.

EU trade commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis, explained that the mechanism includes "a wide range of exemptions to fully honor our humanitarian aid commitments and protect vaccines deliveries to our neighborhood, and to countries in need covered by the COVAX-facility.”

The Commission also said it will assist EU-27 countries in setting up the relevant mechanism to ensure a smooth and coordinated implementation of the regulation.

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