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VAT and Duties - FAQ's

1 April 2020


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The Chancellor has waived import taxes on medical equipment crucial to the fight against coronavirus – reducing red tape to ensure equipment gets to frontline health workers faster. We have listed below the answers to some frequently asked questions.

Q. Is there any relief if I import ventilators or face masks to the UK for sale, donation or loan to the NHS?

A. Yes the UK government announced a scheme last week to remove import duty and import VAT for goods arriving from outside the EU.

Q. What other goods are included?

A. All medical goods that are used to respond to the current covid-19 virus such as hand sanitising gel, protective clothing, eye protectors and testing kits.

The full list of eligible goods with the 8 digit commodity tariff code is can be found here

Q. Who can claim this relief?

A. Local authorities and all public bodies are automatically approved, but other businesses have to apply for this relief.

Q. What other types of users or suppliers can claim this relief?

A. Care homes, or commercial suppliers of these goods to the NHS, care homes or to bodies who will distribute the goods free of charge.

Q. How do these other providers or users gain approval?

A. By emailing the HMRC National Import Reliefs Unit at  asking for an application form.

Q. How long does the relief last?

A. Initially until 31 July 2020.

Q. Do I still need to submit an import entry as usual?

A. Yes.

Q. How should I complete the import entry?

A. Use the Customs Procedure Code (CPC) 40 00 C26 in box 37, and in box 44 document code 9AID and status code JP

Q. Does the relief apply to businesses that will sell these products direct to the public?

A. No

Q. If I am selling the imported goods to the NHS or a care home after they arrive in the UK, do I charge VAT?

A. Yes, if the goods are normally standard rated.