In June 2020, the German authorities extended the scope of its investment screening to include certain pharmaceutical goods including medicine, medical products and personal protective equipment. The scope was extended following the outbreak of COVID-19. 



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German FEderal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, press release of 20 May 2020, Minister Altmaier: We want to better protect our safety and security interests in the healthcare sector:
The German Federal Gazette, bundesanzeiger, Fünfzehnte Verordnung zur Änderung der Außenwirtschaftsverordnung
vom: 25.05.2020, issued on 2 June 2020:

Inception date: 03 Jun 2020 | Removal date: open ended

FDI: Entry and ownership rule

On 2 June 2020, the German authorities issued 'Fünfzehnten Verordnung zur Änderung der Außenwirtschaftsverordnung' amending the scope of foreign investments subject to investment screening to include certain medical and pharmaceutical goods. More specifically, investments in German companies developing or manufacturing vaccines, pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment as well as medical devices and products including ventilators and test kits.

Under the German investment screening regime, certain sectors and companies are subject to an examination concerning the given acquisition's effect on the public order, security or security interests of Germany. Examinations are, among others, triggered by the percentage of foreign ownership in the German company which is set at 10%. As such, investments of 10% or more of a German company's voting rights in these sectors or companies are subject to examination and must obtain prior clearance for such acquisitions. Companies located in the EU are exempt from the FDI screening regime

In this context, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier stated in a press release: "In revising the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance to this effect, we are ensuring that the Federal Government will become aware of acquisitions of critical companies in the healthcare sector and be able to assess these. The current COVID-19 crisis shows just how important it can be to have medical expertise and production capacity in Germany and Europe in a crisis. At the same time, the revised ordinance makes an important contribution to the safeguarding of a well-functioning healthcare system in Germany."

The Decree entered into force on 3 June 2020.