The European Commission has waived customs duty and VAT on medical devices imported from non-EU countries.
A decision has been released by the European Commission assisting Member States affected by the coronavirus pandemic to indefinitely postpone customs duty and VAT on protective equipment, test kits or medical devices such as ventilators. The decision is retroactive and takes effect from the 30 of January.
This would make it financially easier for clinicians on the front line, as well as their patients to get the medical equipment they desperately need. The measure would last for a six-month period, with the possibility of further extension.
On 20 March, the European Commission invited all Member States, including the United Kingdom, to officially request removal of customs duties and VAT on imports of necessary medical equipment during the coronavirus crisis. All Member States, as well as the United Kingdom, have done so already.
Requests submitted from all Member States and the UK were quickly approved by the European Commission. The need to combat COVID-19 and protect EU citizens health justifies the rapidly implemented measures.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said via a video message:
“This is our contribution to ease the pressure on prices for medical and protective equipment and to make them more affordable.”