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European Commission opens first investigation under new trade policy tool: the International Procurement Instrument

  • 30/04/2024
  • News

On 24 April 2024, the European Commission (Commission) launched its first investigation under the International Procurement Instrument (IPI), targeting procurement markets for medical devices in China. Adopted in 2022, the IPI is a recent addition to the Commission trade policy toolbox, designed to ensure fair access by EU businesses to non-EU procurement markets.

The investigation comes in the wake of investigations recently opened by the Commission using its powers under a complementary tool, the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR). The FSR investigations are looking into potential distortions caused by Chinese subsidies in the context of EU public procurement procedures – see our previous alert on the Commission’s first own-initiative FSR investigation here.

Our alert discusses the new IPI investigation, including the drivers for the Commission’s choice between using IPI and FSR powers and the likely results of its actions. Read it below.

The investigation is due to be concluded within nine months, potentially extended by an additional five. Next steps are for the Commission to solicit views and information from the Chinese authorities and open a consultation aiming to eliminate the measures which it believes to be discriminatory. Our team will be monitoring developments and providing relevant updates as the investigation progresses.


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