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Promoting Trade in Vaccines and Related Supplies and Equipment

Cover_221_PSU_Promoting Trade in Vaccines and Related Supplies and Equipment
Published Date May 2021
Type of Publication Reports
Publication Under APEC Secretariat, APEC Policy Support Unit
Accessed 5595
Pages 13
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This Policy Brief seeks to study the importance of the trade in vaccines and their related supplies and equipment, as well as identify issues affecting COVID-19 vaccine trade. In addition, the Policy Brief analyses existing tariff levels and non-tariff measures affecting those products in the APEC region, and provides policy recommendations to facilitate the provision of COVID-19 vaccines and related products, which are necessary to advance vaccination efforts.

The key messages are as follows:

  • The global trade in vaccines and related supplies and equipment is significant, equivalent to USD 418.5 billion in 2019, with further growth prospects based on trade estimates in 2020.
  • APEC is a net importer of vaccines and related goods. Most of these products imported by APEC economies come from other APEC economies. While most vaccines for human use imported by APEC originate in Europe, APEC economies are collectively responsible for the majority of the world’s COVID-19 vaccine production. Moreover, most of the goods vital for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and distribution also originate from within the APEC region.
  • Most-favoured nation (MFN) tariffs on vaccines are very low in most APEC economies. However, other products within the vaccine supply chain face higher tariff rates in a number of APEC economies, including alcohol solutions, freezing equipment, packaging and storage materials, vials and rubber stoppers.
  • Trade policy could facilitate the provision of COVID-19 vaccines. APEC economies could discuss initiatives to reduce or eliminate tariffs on vaccines and related goods, and refrain from implementing export restrictions and prohibitions on those goods.
  • APEC economies could also discuss initiatives on trade facilitation to secure supply lines and minimise disruptions in the vaccine supply chain. They also need to look at issues related to intellectual property and standards and conformance to help increase vaccine production levels within a short timeframe.