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WTO receives 255 announcements on measures related to Covid-19

By mid-October 2020, the WTO had received 255 notifications and formal communications from Members and observers on trade-related measures that were adopted in the context of Covid-19.

Some WTO Members made several notifications in the same area.

About two-thirds of the notifications related to Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), which affected, for example, trade in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), food, live animals and medical equipment.

The purpose of many of these measures was to streamline certification procedures and move towards more electronic/digital procedures, for example electronic certification, with a view to facilitating access to PPE and other medical equipment necessary to combat the pandemic, as well as to the food.

Others also focused on the risks of the spread of Covid-19 associated with the international trade in live animals.

With regard to notifications of quantitative restrictions, WTO Members notified prohibitions and restrictions on exports of PPE, antiseptics and disinfectants, and pharmaceuticals.

Some WTO members also restricted exports of food products, and notified the Committee on Agriculture.

About half of the export restriction measures were reported as temporary. These notifications are described in more detail in later sections of this report.

WTO

As of mid-October, there had been 124 actions taken by 54 Members in relation to Covid-19 affecting trade in services, most of them trade facilitators.

At the same time, some 60 actions taken by WTO Members and observers in the context of Covid-19 that had to do with trade-related intellectual property rights were recorded and verified.

Several of these measures were intended to facilitate innovation or access with regard to Covid-19-related health technologies, while others were designed to loosen certain procedural requirements or time limits for administrative matters.

 

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