To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world have taken a variety of restrictive measures, which have negatively affected international trade in goods, with a few noteworthy exceptions.
Among these are goods used in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic: sterilisation products (incl. disinfectants), medical vehicles and furniture, protective garments, diagnostic testing equipment, medical devices, oxygen equipment and medical consumables, or so called ‘COVID-19 related products’.
In March 2020, extra-EU imports of COVID-19 related products increased by 2% compared with March 2019, in contrast to trade in other similar products (see methodological note), which fell by 5%.
Over the same period, extra-EU exports of COVID-19 related products increased by 18%, while extra-EU exports of other similar products fell by 6%.