Vanuit ESF is onderstaand bericht over handelsbeperkingen op PBM’s als gevolg van de Covid-19-crisis gepubliceerd.

Zowel ESF (op Europees niveau) als VVGW (op nationaal niveau) zijn hier mee bezig. We zullen u verder op de hoogte houden.

Information concerning trade limitations by certain countries as a result of the COVID-19 crisis

Yesterday, both the German and French authorities have published decisions concerning trade of PPE (and medical devices) as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Attached the pdf version of these decisions. Italy had already issued some limitations earlier (Ordinanza 639 from 25/02/2020 – attached the Official Journal, the concerned text starts at page 20). Also, other EU member states (e.g. Czech Republic) as well as third countries (e.g. China) seem to have issued similar decisions.
As certainly the German decision covers a broad range of PPE, we received several questions about these measures, also about the legality of the decisions.
The ESF secretariat contacted the EU Commission (DG GROW and DG SANTE) on the subject. Apart from the fact that this is against the single market principle, I also mentioned that this type of decisions will create a domino effect leading ultimately to the situation where in some countries (those where there is no production of these PPE / medical devices) the healthcare workers will not be protected at all as there will be no PPE available. And of course, there is also an impact on the industrial users of these products.
We received in response a short statement at this stage : “We are aware of these latest developments in some Member States. The question is under analysis, with the participation of different Commission services – not only DG GROW and DG SANTE in charge of the specific legislation and of the horizontal internal market legislation, but also DG TRADE and the respective Commissioners – also in view of the extraordinary meeting of the Council this Friday. More specific information should be made available after that.”
For your information : the EU Commission has been asked by several member states to organise a joint purchase of certain types of PPE (masks, garments, gloves, …) to provide the member states with the necessary quantities of PPE. So far, this tender has not been launched.
Suggested action for the national PPE organisations :

  • Contact with your national authorities expressing concerns about this type of national decisions
  • Contact with organisations of employers / safety specialists as they might face situations where companies will need to stop production as a consequence of the lack of availability of necessary PPE to protect their employees.
  • Inform the ESF secretariat of similar measures in other countries and possible obtained results in your country

The ESF secretariat is following continuously this situation and will keep you informed of any evolution.


  1. France_joe_20200304_0054_0010.pdf
  2. Germany_BAnz_AT_04.03.2020_B1.pdf
  3. Italy_ordinanza_639.pdf