Covid-19: duties and VAT waived on vital medical imports

by | Apr 16, 2020

Suppliers to the NHS will no longer have to pay customs duty and import VAT on a list of medical goods when these are coming into the UK from outside the EU. This includes  ventilators, coronavirus testing kits and PPE (protective clothing).

It is reported by the Government that the removal of this tariff which can equate to 12% of the list price will be in place until 31 July 2020.

The changes introduced has the potential to make the UK more attractive to companies wishing to produce or donate supplies to fight coronavirus. Relief agencies importing goods for free circulation  during the coronavirus emergency can also claim this relief.

The list of goods exempt from import taxes set out by the Government includes ventilators, Covid-19 testing kits, face masks, protective garments and eye protectors.  The list was created by the Department of Health.

The new relief can be claimed from HMRC immediately by state organisations who are supplying the NHS. Other approved organisations wanting to supply the NHS can also apply to HMRC for approval but this does need to be sought first. 

VAT on domestic supplies is not affected by this relief and suppliers must charge and account for VAT on the onward sale at the normal rate. HMRC will publish further guidance on how to treat these supplies.

HMRC guidance: Pay no import duty and VAT on medical supplies, equipment and protective garments (Covid-19)

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