Spain maintains that it has not requested any confiscation of medicines intended for export to Morocco.
Rabat – Spain has refuted allegations that Spanish authorities seized exports of several medicines designed by Spanish pharmaceutical companies due to potential domestic supply problems in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
In a press release received by Moroccan state-run Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), the Spanish embassy in Morocco dismissed the information reported by several news outlets, characterizing it as misleading.
“The Spanish Embassy in the Kingdom of Morocco wishes to clarify that the information reported by several Moroccan media that Spain has seized drugs intended for export to Morocco is unfounded,” said the Spanish diplomatic representation.
Initially relayed by Spanish media outlet El Mundo, the report concerns batches of several highly-demanded medications, such as insulin and hydroxychloroquine, destined for Morocco. The drugs have all been authorized by the Spanish Agency of Medicine and Sanitary Products (AEMPS) for export to Morocco.
“The information refers to three specific batches of medicines destined for Morocco, all of which have been authorized by the Spanish Medicines Agency (AEMPS) to be exported to the Kingdom,” added the embassy.
The embassy explained that the medicines have been detained for analysis and examination by the AEMPS before exportation.
“In Spain, as in other countries, in the event of an increased need for medicines, the Spanish Medicines Agency (AEMPS) can examine and temporarily detain consignments intended for export to analyze whether they comply with the requirements,” explained the embassy.
The Spanish representation added that the medicines in question have indeed been detained, but solely for the purpose of examining their compliance with the requirements in force before shipping to the claimants.
“In the concrete case of the Kingdom of Morocco, and as for the other countries, the same procedure was applied to the three lots mentioned. Following the verification of the conformity of the drugs to the requirements in force, all lots have been authorized for export to Morocco.”
In addition to Morocco, shipments were destined for other countries in the Middle East and South Africa.
The Embassy reiterated “that no seizure has been made by Spain of drugs intended for export to Morocco.”
Morocco and Spain maintain healthy bilateral relations and cooperate in a number of fields including curbing irregular migration, security, trade, and fighting against drug trafficking and terrorism. The relations were recently shaken following Morocco’s decision to demarcate its maritime borders with Spain off the Atlantic coast, which sparked criticism from Spain’s far-right Vox party.
In its territorial sea, Morocco has the right to build and protect pipelines, cables, and navigation equipment. The country also has the right to enforce its fiscal, medical, and immigration laws in the territorial sea.
Morocco’s parliament passed the Laws 37-17 and 38-17 on the delimitation of its maritime borders in December 2019, and Spain was aware of the legislation.