This statement is in reference to the COVID-19 outbreak. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many countries globally. In line with our mandate, Imres is supporting our partners in vulnerable countries and regions of the world that need support while increasing preparedness and outbreak response capabilities. It is clear that this outbreak is affecting the global supply chain in general and, in particular, the uninterrupted supply of medicines and medical consumables. At this point in time we are facing limitations in means of transport, both air- and sea freight. In addition, several governments have already imposed export restrictions on essential medicines and medical disposables including personal protective equipment supplies.
In the past week (week 12) we have received many questions regarding supplies, logistics and stock that might affect your orders. We have assembled these questions in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below. We will update these FAQs in line with the developments. Please check our website on a regular basis.
Q: Are there expected delays in specific products or shipments?
A: It depends very much on the products you have requested. If you need detailed information on a specific request or product, please do contact our sales team as they can give you tailored information. In general, the current situation (March 20th) is as follows:
• China: although the situation is slowly improving with factories starting-up again, we expect to see a delay of up to 4-6 weeks for inbound shipments. We keep monitoring the situation closely but hope you understand that the current situation is beyond our control.
• India: the export restrictions are still applicable and are impacting the supply of 26 products including paracetamol, tinidazole, metronidazole, acyclovir, vitamin B1/B6/B12, progesterone, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, neomycin, clindamycin, amongst others. For most products, we also have suppliers outside India.
• Europe: there are export restrictions for personal protection equipment (PPE) supplies such as gloves, face masks, gowns, etc. At the moment it is not clear yet how these restrictions will be implemented by the Dutch government.
Q: Is there still stock available?
A: Our stock positions in our GDP Netherlands-based warehouses are relatively good. In addition, we are continuously sourcing alternatives for products that are at risk for further delays.
Q: Is the Imres staff still available for customers?
A: Yes, our staff is available. The majority of staff is working remote with a skeleton staff in the office. Our warehouse teams continue to work with split teams to adhere to guidelines with respect to social distancing. The staff is made aware of all guidelines with respect to safety measures to mitigate against the spread of the coronavirus.
At Imres, we are passionate about serving our customers serving vulnerable countries and regions -as long as possible. This, off course, all while maintaining safety of our valuable staff.
Q: Is it true that the Netherlands government is implementing export restrictions for PPE supplies?
A: On Tuesday March 17, Imres was surprised to learn that the European Union (EU) is now making the exportation of certain products subject to the production of an export authorisation. This regulation is known under EU 2020/402 (March 14, 2020). Imres understands that given the spread of the disease within the EU territory, the impact on public health will be substantial; the need for personal protection equipment has already increased significantly. Notwithstanding the solidarity we feel with people living in the EU, we also would like to continue serving people in vulnerable countries and regions. There are vital unmet needs to be supplied to hospitals, patients, field workers, and civil protection authorities.
Q: Which PPE products are restricted for export?
A: The list of PPE supplies now restricted under EU 2020/402 includes protective spectacles and visors, face shields, mouth/nose protection equipment, protective garments and gloves.
Q: Are there any restrictions in the global supply chain?
A: It is becoming more difficult to send products by air. The situation changes by the hour, so if you have an urgent request for products that need to be shipped by air, please discuss with your account manager. Rates may change day-by-day. Up to March 20, we do not see too many constraints for sea freight. Please ask your account manager for the best possible mode of transport.
The above FAQs relate to the current, general situation as of March 20th. Please contact you Imres account manager directly or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for more specific answers to your questions.