To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of sanctions on Syria on the pharmaceutical industry in that country and any subsequent impact on that country’s ability to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
18 June 2020
The UK and European partners regularly review sanctions, including in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and have taken significant steps to mitigate against the wider impact of sanctions on Syrian civilians. The EU does not sanction medicine, medical equipment and medical assistance. As such, medical equipment, including oxygen, respirators (except powered respirators), personal protective equipment and ventilators as well as medicines and other medical items required to fight the COVID-19 pandemic are not subject to direct restrictions on export, supply, financing or use in Syria. Humanitarian exemptions apply in relation to other equipment required by the Syrian pharmaceutical industry. We assess that applying for a licence or authorisation may slightly delay the provision of goods to Syria's pharmaceutical industry, as may over-compliance by certain operators' unwillingness to engage in transactions related to Syria, for fear of accidentally violating the sanctions. But the sanctions do not prevent the delivery of items needed to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.