EURATEX appreciates the measures taken by the European Commission right before Easter. In order to help in the fight against coronavirus, the EC decided to waive customs duties and VAT on the import of medical devices and protective equipment from third countries. The European Commission published a list of goods, which is indicative, as each Member States will establish at national level goods eligible for exemption. They will then report this information to the European Commission.
While these European initiatives are more than welcomed, EURATEX would like to point out that the EU should give priority to the production of these goods in Europe and therefore keep the market open to imports of raw materials and intermediate products, which are needed for PPE production.
Moreover, such measure applies to products imported by state organisations (state bodies, public bodies and other bodies governed by public law including hospitals, governmental organisations, towns, regional governments, etc.) and charitable or philanthropic organisations approved by the competent authorities of the Member States only.
EURATEX believes that such restriction lacks some ambition, as the European measure should be applicable also to private companies, which could respond more quickly to the higher demand of these goods.