European Commission extends mechanism controlling vaccine exports
Thursday, 11 March 2021
The European Commission will extend the European mechanism for transparency and authorisation of exports of Covid-19 vaccine, which normally expired at the end of the month, it announced on Thursday.
The mechanism, which has been extended until the end of June, allows for Europe to block shipments of vaccines from European soil, at least for pharmaceutical companies that have a contract with the Commission.
It was put in place at the end of January, in the midst of the Commission’s battle with AstraZeneca. The company had then sharply reduced its deliveries to the EU, while at the same time continuing to deliver at full speed to the UK.
In parallel to the extension, the Commission has simplified the procedure, a spokeswoman announced on Thursday. From now on, different consignments destined for different places in the same third country can be grouped together in a common request.
Belgium was among the countries asking for a simplification of the administrative burden.