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Common rules for exports

This regulation establishes common rules for exports from the European Union (EU) based on the principle of freedom of export and defines the procedures enabling the EU to implement, where necessary, the surveillance and protective measures required.


Council Regulation (EC) No 1061/2009 of 19 October 2009 establishing common rules for exports.


This regulation lays down the principle of freedom of export, stating that exports from the European Union (EU) to non-EU countries are free from quantitative restrictions.

Information and consultation procedures

EU countries may adopt protective measures if they consider it necessary due to unusual developments on the market. Before implementing these protective measures, the EU country must inform the Commission accordingly, which will then advise the other EU countries. Consultations may be held at any time and take place within an advisory committee composed of representatives of each EU country and chaired by a representative of the Commission. These consultations relate, in particular, to the export conditions and trends for the product in question as well as the measures, if any, to be adopted.

The Commission may request EU countries to supply statistical data on market trends in a given product for the purpose of assessing the economic and commercial situation. It may also ask them to exercise surveillance over given products in accordance with their national legislation and with the procedure specified by the Commission.

Protective measures

The interests of the EU may require the adoption of appropriate measures to prevent or remedy a critical situation brought about by a shortage of essential products, or to allow international commitments entered into by the EU or all the EU countries to be fulfilled, in particular those relating to trade in primary products. These measures are generally quantitative restrictions on exports.

The Commission, acting at the request of an EU country or on its own initiative, may make the export of a product subject to the production of an export authorisation. The granting of an export authorisation is governed by such provisions and subject to such limits as the Commission shall lay down pending subsequent action by the Council. The Council and the EU countries shall be notified of the measures taken which shall take effect immediately. These protective measures may be limited to exports to certain countries or exports from certain regions of the EU. They do not affect products already on their way to the EU frontier.

In principle, protective measures are adopted by the Council, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission. The Commission may also implement such measures where immediate action is required.

During their application, protective measures are the subject of consultation on the advisory committee with a view to examining their effects and ascertaining whether the conditions for their application are still satisfied. As a result, they may be amended or revoked if they are no longer necessary.

This regulation does not prevent EU countries from adopting or applying quantitative restrictions on exports on grounds of public morality, public policy, public security, the protection of health and life of humans, animals and plants, the protection of national treasures possessing artistic, historic or archaeological value, or the protection of industrial and commercial property.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1061/2009



OJ L 291, 7.11.2009

Last updated: 09.02.2011
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