The European Commission will tighten its export guidelines on Wednesday to prevent what it sees as an unfair one-way flow of vaccines, according to a draft seen by AFP.
Brussels has been infuriated that Britain has laid claim to vaccines produced at a plant in the Netherlands by AstraZeneca, while the UK-based firm falls short on deliveries promised to the EU.
While negotiations with the British government continue behind the scenes to head off the threat of a general vaccine export ban, the EU is moving to tighten its export rules.
The measure, put in place to monitor exports from EU territory and if necessary to block them, has already been used once to prevent an AstraZeneca shipment leaving Italy for Australia.
But the draft of the updated rule complains of countries preventing exports to the EU “either by law or through contractual or other arrangements concluded with vaccine manufacturers”.