No VAT or duty on imported medical supplies for Coronavirus.

Ordinarily, the import of medical supplies would be liable to varying rates of duty as well as standard rate VAT, and therefore this is a welcome relief. 

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2 April 2020

It will apply to a variety of goods including; ventilators, COVID-19 testing kits, face masks, protective garments and eye protectors, and will remain in force until 31 July 2020.

Who can claim this relief? 

This relief can be claimed immediately by state organisations, including state bodies, public bodies and other bodies governed by public law, including charities, but also applies to any company importing the relevant goods. Non-state bodies can request authorisation by contacting the National Import Relief Unit (NIRU) at niru@hmrc.gov.uk for an application form.

How to claim the relief

Relief from duty and VAT is claimed by using Customs Procedure Code 4000C26 on the import declaration. Organisations wishing to use the relief should liaise closely with freight forwarders making out the import declaration, as it is necessary to ensure the correct code is used and the correct document codes are applied. This is important as without these codes, the reliefs will not be applied, resulting in much-needed goods being held up until the relevant duties have been paid. The HMRC announcement contains a link to a full detailed list of eligible items and the codes. 

Any domestic supplies of such goods will be subject to the normal rules and are not eligible for this relief.

This article was last updated on 2 April 2020.

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If you have any questions on the above, or if you require more detailed information regarding the procedures for benefiting from this relief, please get in touch.

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