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Reference Guide: Worldwide Export Controls on Face Masks and Other Medical Personal Protective Equipment

As the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded exponentially, so too has the demand by hospitals and other healthcare providers for masks and other medical personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers. A number of governments have imposed export controls on the export of a variety of medical (and industrial) PPE. In other words, if you want to import face masks into the US from a European country, you need a license to export them from the EU first.

This Alert has been updated with new information as of May 11, 2020.

Today, May 11, we updated the Reference Guide most recently circulated on April 28th with a listing of governments that have (and have not) imposed export controls on a variety of medical (and industrial) PPE.

Download the Reference Guide

New Countries
We have added information from Azerbaijan, which recently extended its earlier ban on exports of certain medical products; as well as from Cambodia and Sri Lanka, which recently rescinded bans on the export of masks.

New & Modified Restrictions
Since we last updated this Alert, no new countries have joined the list of states restricting the export of PPE. However, we have edited the chart to reflect changed or modified restrictions in Argentina, Bahrain, Belarus, Bulgaria, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Taiwan, and Turkey.

As we reported previously, the pace at which countries impose new controls on PPE exports has slowed, a trend that has seemingly continued into this week. Notably, the EU’s loosening of restrictions was followed by Turkey’s lifting of its ban on the export of ventilators and disinfectants; while Russia reversed course by removing blanket export bans on a plethora of medical goods and PPE.

Arent Fox and local counsel will continue monitoring how states respond to local and global demand for PPE, and will continue to revise the attached Reference Guide as we receive additional information. If you see a country missing from the Reference Guide, or if the Reference Guide needs to be updated, please contact the undersigned at Arent Fox, and we will update it as soon as possible.


This Alert has been updated with new information as of April 28, 2020.

Today, April 28, we updated the chart we previously circulated on April 21st, April 14th, April 3rd, March 27th, and March 24th with a listing of governments that have (and have not) imposed export controls on the export of a variety of medical (and industrial) PPE.

Download the Reference Guide

New Countries
We have added information from Bulgaria and Zimbabwe.

New Restrictions
We have updated the chart with new or modified restrictions in Brazil, China, the European Union, and Georgia. The chart also includes information about U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s responses to Frequently Asked Questions about PPE exports.

While the pace at which countries are imposing controls on PPE exports has slowed, existing restrictions remain overwhelmingly intact. As the chart notes, draft regulations loosening restrictions imposed by the EU were released late last week. Arent Fox and local counsel will continue monitoring how EU member states interpret and respond to these regulations.

We will continue to update this chart as we receive additional information. If you see a country missing from the chart, or if the chart needs to be updated, please contact the undersigned at Arent Fox, and we will update it as soon as possible.


This alert has been updated with new information as of April 21, 2020.

Today, April 21st, we updated the chart we previously circulated on April 14th, April 3rd, March 27th, and March 24th with a listing of governments that have (and have not) imposed export controls on the export of a variety of medical (and industrial) PPE.

Download the Reference Guide

New Countries
We have added information from Kuwait.

New Restrictions
We have updated the chart with new or modified restrictions in Argentina, Costa Rica, Moldova, Paraguay, and the United States.

Regarding the United States, FEMA issued a Federal Register Notice on April 17, 2020 with a further list of exemptions to its requirement for prior approval to export certain “scarce and threatened” medical PPE. For five of these ten new exemptions, exporters must submit a letter of attestation certifying the purpose of the proposed shipment through CBP.

For additional guidance from Arent Fox professionals on recent developments in the United States, please consult our Alerts published on April 8 and April 20.

We will continue to update this chart as we receive additional information. If you see a country missing from the chart, or if the chart needs to be updated, please contact the undersigned at Arent Fox, and we will update it as soon as possible.


This alert has been updated with new information as of April 14, 2020.

Today, April 14th, we updated the chart we previously circulated on April 3rd, March 27th, and March 24th with a listing of governments that have (and have not) imposed export controls on the export of a variety of medical (and industrial) PPE.

Download the Reference Guide

New Countries
We have added information from Albania, Algeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Georgia, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Moldova, and Paraguay.

New Restrictions
We have also updated the chart with new restrictions and updated guidance from US Customs and Border Protection and FEMA, as well as with modified restrictions in India. For additional guidance from Arent Fox professionals on recent developments in the United States, please consult this Alert and this Fox Chat.

We will continue to update this chart as we receive additional information. If you see a country missing from the chart, or if the chart needs to be updated, please contact the undersigned at Arent Fox, and we will update it as soon as possible.


This alert has been updated with new information as of April 3, 2020.

Today, April 3rd, we updated the chart we circulated on March 27th and 24th, with a listing of governments that have and have not imposed export controls on the export of a variety of medical (and industrial) PPE.

Download the Reference Guide

New Countries
We have added new countries: Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya (GNA), Morocco, Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States.

New Restrictions
We have also updated the chart with new export control restrictions in Australia and China.

We will continue to update this chart as we receive additional information.


Today, March 27th, we updated the chart we circulated on March 24th, with a listing of governments that have (and governments that have not) imposed export controls on the export of a variety of medical (and industrial) PPE.

Download the Reference Guide

New Countries
We have added new countries – Bahrain, Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, and Vietnam – to the chart.

New Information
We have also updated the chart with new information from India, Singapore, and Turkey.

Countries Committed to Keeping Medical PPE Supply Chains Open
Notably, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Myanmar, New Zealand, and Singapore have released a statement committing “to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade-restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, at this time.”

We will continue to update this alert as we receive additional information.


Arent Fox, together with international trade lawyers from law firms around the world, have banded together to create a chart so that persons seeking to source medical PPE have information regarding which countries have laws restricting the export of medical PPE and how to get licenses. The chart below explains which medical PPE is restricted by whom, and provides the law as well as a law firm that can help. As a caveat, we want to be sure you are aware that the laws and guidances in this area are changing day by day, hour by hour, so the chart is intended as a helpful reference, but not intended to replace obtaining up to the date legal guidance from local counsel.

What the Chart Shows

For select countries, the chart shows what medical PPE items are subject to export controls, whether you can obtain a license or whether exports are simply prohibited, where to find the applicable law and other relevant links, and the name and contact information for a lawyer in the country who can help.

Here is the chart.

The chart also shows a few key countries that do NOT have export controls on their medical PPE and therefore can be used as sources for medical PPE provided the laws do not change: Bangladesh, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, and New Zealand.

If you see a country missing from the chart, or if the chart needs to be updated, please contact the undersigned at Arent Fox, and we will update it as soon as possible.

Contacts

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