Answer to Written Question: Export of vaccines from the EU to third countries

(Source: European Parliament)



Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis

on behalf of the European Commission


Due to the confidentiality of some of the data and a very limited number of vaccine producers worldwide, the Commission can only provide a summary of this data and does it on a regular basis. During the period from 30 January[1] until 17 May 2021, the Commission approved 983 requests for export authorisations to 46 countries.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Commission has been coordinating a common response to COVID-19[2]. Via the EU Strategy for COVID-19 vaccines[3], the Commission has secured access for EU Member States to vaccines as soon as they become available. With several vaccines authorised for the EU market, vaccination is ongoing. Vaccines have been delivered, and a substantial increase in deliveries could be observed in April 2021. In addition, Member States have assisted each other bilaterally, e.g. by treating cross-border COVID-19 patients in their health system. Italy has also benefitted from such solidarity efforts[4].

The Commission introduced the export authorisation mechanism on 30 January 2021[5] pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/479[6]. The mechanism was recently extended until 30 June 2021[7]. The system has introduced transparency to vaccine deliveries in the EU. However, in order to ensure timely access to COVID-19 vaccines for EU citizens the Commission on 24 March[8] 2021 strengthened the existing mechanism. Under the new scheme, Member States and the Commission should also consider reciprocity[9] and proportionality[10] as criteria to authorise exports. The Commission has repeatedly called on Member States not to adopt any national measures, and to this day, is not aware of any Member State acting independently and restricting exports of COVID-19 vaccines.

[1] The entry into force of the EU transparency and export authorisation mechanism.




[5] OJ L 31, 30.1.2021  , p. 1

[6] OJ L 83, 27.3.2015, p. 34

[7] OJ L 85, 12.3.2021, p. 190

[8] OJ L 104, 24.3.2021, p. 52

[9] Reciprocity – does the destination country restrict its own exports of vaccines or their raw materials?

[10] Proportionality – are the conditions prevailing in the destination country better or worse than the EU’s, in particular its epidemiological situation, its vaccination rate and its access to vaccines.

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