Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
DG GROW Newsroom

Coronavirus: European standards for medical supplies made freely available to facilitate increase of production

In the context of the Coronavirus crisis, the Commission is working with industry and EU countries to maximise the availability of masks, gloves, gowns and other medical supplies. At the urgent request of the Commission, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), in collaboration with all their members, have agreed to immediately make available a number of European standards for certain medical devices and personal protective equipment.

This action will help companies from both EU and non-EU countries who are willing to manufacture these items to swiftly start production and place products on the internal market more easily, while ensuring a high degree of safety.

Today's agreement has immediate effect. The 11 standards developed by CEN and potentially three additional ones developed jointly with ISO that are made available cover common filtering masks, medical gloves and protective clothing.

Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said: “We need to act collectively with urgency, solidarity, and audacity. I am encouraging manufacturers to increase and diversify production, building on positive examples such as textile and shoe manufacturers starting to produce masks and gowns. I will do everything possible to support their efforts. I am pleased to announce that following contacts with the Commission, CEN/CENELEC has agreed to make freely available the standards needed for such companies to be able to produce masks and other protective equipment.”

This initiative complements the Commission recommendation of 13 March 2020 on conformity assessment and market surveillance procedures, which provide guidance to national bodies on allowing non CE-marked personal protection equipment that comply with the necessary health and safety standards to enter the EU market within the context of the coronavirus.

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