Government announces removal of import VAT on COVID-19 essential medical supplies and protective equipment

1 April 2020

Liaison Financial on changes to VAT on medical supplies

The Government has today (1st April 2020) announced the removal of import VAT and tariffs on the import from outside the EU of equipment vital to combatting COVID-19 until the 30th July 2020. This relief applies to both imports made directly by the NHS and to suppliers to the NHS.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “The removal of import taxes for these goods will help clear the way for even more equipment to reach the frontline.”

The aim is to remove administrative and cost barriers and ease the free movement of critical equipment, including protective clothing and relevant COVID-19 medical devices. The full list of qualifying goods can be found here.

How to apply for removal of VAT on medical supplies?

As non-state bodies, subsidiaries may have to apply for authorisation to the National Import Relief Unit (NIRU) by emailing for an application form.\

Further VAT on medical supply guidance

Further guidance is due to follow imminently on how the VAT removal on medical supplies will work in practice and how NHS organisations can backdate the relief on these items. However, for those NHS organisations using Liaison Financial as their primary VAT reviewers, please be assured that your VAT advisor will include this relief as part of your review, whilst for NHS organisations who use Liaison Financial as their secondary VAT reviewers, we will ensure that this relief is included within your review in order to regain any VAT paid.

Our upcoming VAT update webinars will also cover this information, ensuring that NHS finance teams have the latest information on VAT changes and the implications they have within NHS organisations.

If you’re looking for additional information, we’ve answered some of the most common questions from this blog here. Don’t forget you can also download our latest guide on the NHS environment post Covid-19 by clicking the image below.

vat on medical supplies
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