The group said its members are doing their utmost to maintain the necessary supply of food and hygiene products as well as medicines to citizens throughout Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It adds the EU needs to open designated priority lanes, the “green lanes” for their intra-EU transport.
EUROPEN said it supports the prompt and decisive measures taken by national governments and the European Commission to contain the spread of COVID-19, and that its members have been taking all necessary measures for the health and safety of their employees and consumers.
The organization called on the European Commission and EU governments to ensure production facilities essential to packaging supply-chains can continue operating as needed, while making sure that the necessary specific COVID-19 health, safety and security measures for the workforce are in place.
Packaging is an essential component of the product groups which have been identified from the Commission as critical, such as “health-related and perishable goods, notably foodstuffs”.
To support the self-isolation measures encouraged by national governments and the Commission, a well-functioning packaging supply chain is particularly critical to ensure uninterrupted delivery of pre-packed goods safely from factories, through retail and e-commerce, to consumers.
EUROPEN said it, and its members, are committed to, and engaged in, providing the continuous supply needed to deliver essential goods without interruption, but that this is only possible if goods can circulate freely.
While the recent Commission guidance on border management to establish a coordinated EU response was welcomed, EUROPEN urged Member States to observe it, noting delays and disruption at country borders have been observed for the delivery of (packaged) products and packaging materials.
“As a matter of priority, we call on the Commission to lead on securing the enabling conditions necessary for continuity of essential product and service supply chains by creating ‘green lanes’ for free-movement of essential goods, vehicles and their drivers, as well as essential engineers,” EUROPEN stated.