After a few days of uncertainty, the European Commission has put a definitive end to the unfair commercial practices that have been repeatedly reported by Italian companies. Among these, the request for ‘virus free’ certification for food products arriving from Italy.
Today, the Commission presented guidelines to Member States on health-related border management measures in the context of the COVID-19 emergency. “Free circulation of goods is crucial to maintain availability of goods. This is particularly crucial for essential goods such as food supplies including livestock, vital medical and protective equipment and supplies. More generally, control measures should not cause serious disruption of supply chains, essential services of general interest and of national economies and the EU economy as a whole. Member States should designate priority lanes for freight transport (e.g. via ‘green lanes’)” – the guidelines say.
Moreover, “no additional certifications should be imposed on goods legally circulating within the EU single market. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), there is no evidence that food is a source or a transmission source of COVID-19” – the guidelines state.
THE GOAL OF EU COMMISSION’S GUIDELINES
“Our measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic – said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen – will only be effective if we coordinate at European level. We must take exceptional measures to protect the health of our citizens. But let us ensure that essential goods and services continue to flow into our internal market. This is the only way to prevent shortages of medical equipment or food. It is not just an economic issue: our single market is a key instrument of European solidarity. I am discussing it with all Member States so that we can face this challenge together, as a Union.”