NHS suppliers no longer have to pay customs duty and import VAT on specific medical goods coming from outside the EU, including ventilators, Coronavirus testing kits and protective clothing.
The Chancellor has waived import taxes on medical equipment crucial to the fight against Coronavirus.
The removal of the tariffs, which can be up to 12 per cent on the price of these goods, will mean more vital supplies are flowing into the UK to help the front-line workers treating patients with Covid-19.
These changes will also make the UK more attractive to companies who want to produce or donate supplies to fight the disease.
The move helps deliver on the Chancellor’s promise to do whatever extra resources the NHS needs to cope with the outbreak.
The list of goods exempt from import taxes includes ventilators, COVID-19 testing kits, face masks, protective garments and eye protectors, amongst hundreds of other vital products to tackle the outbreak of Coronavirus. The types of goods covered by the UK’s new duty-free rules was created by the Department of Health.
Importers are normally required to have a duty deferment account backed by a guarantee. Importers of these critical goods would need to increase the level of their guarantee to cover any additional duty due.
The new approach, in place until 31st July 2020, will allow companies to import PPE equipment at a faster rate and reduce costs significantly.
The relief can be claimed from HMRC immediately by state organisations, including state bodies, public bodies and other bodies governed by public law who are supplying the NHS. Other approved organisations wanting to supply the NHS can also apply to HMRC.