VAT and import duties waived on Covid-19 medical supplies

The EU Commission has waived Value Added Tax (VAT) and customs duties on the importation from non-EU countries of medical equipment needed to combat the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak.

On 3 April, the European Commission published a decision helping Member States affected by the coronavirus pandemic to temporarily suspend customs duties and VAT on protective equipment, testing kits or medical devices such as ventilators. This will make it easier financially to get the medical equipment that doctors, nurses and patients desperately need.

The measure will apply for a period of six months, with a possibility for further extension.

On 20 March, the European Commission invited all Member States, as well as the UK, to formally request lifting customs duties and VAT on imports of necessary medical equipment during the crisis. All Member States and the UK have done so. The Commission has swiftly approved requests received from all Member States and the UK. The need to fight Covid-19 and protect the health of Europeans justifies swift action.

The Commission decision will be applicable from 30 January 2020 until 31 July 2020. This allows imports carried out during the incipient phase of the outbreak to also benefit from the exemption.