PPE medical equipment import duty

On the 1st April, the government announced that it is to suspend import duty on Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) as the UK continues the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Throughout the outbreak of the pandemic, PPE has been one of the continuous points of contention as many healthcare professionals stress they cannot access the equipment needed to keep them protected, with care homes in particular struggling to access it.

With lower costs to import PPE, the import duty suspension could provide mobility retailers and suppliers that have seen demand for traditional ranges decline switch to supplying PPE, helping to both support care providers and continuing to trade.

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Leading tax and advisory firm, Blick Rothenberg, welcomed the government’s decision but called it overdue, highlighting the struggle across the world for distributors to now get hold of the highly sought after equipment.

Simon Sutcliffe, a partner at the firm, said: “The government announced that duty is to be suspended on all imports of PPE and chemicals for test kit manufacture by a simple adjustment to codes on the import entry. This is a practical step instead of licence and import controls.”

He pointed out, however, that countries have already started to stockpile PPE and place export restrictions upon much of the equipment, much to the dismay of the WCO and WTO.

“The UK Government has also announced that all public authorities and those that supply them can now import free of duty and VAT certain general goods used in the current crisis including certain types of chemicals, textiles, articles containing plastic and rubber (such as tubes, rubber aprons, gloves, face shields etc.),” continued Simon.

“Although this is helpful in reducing costs to public bodies and their suppliers, this action could have been agreed earlier by the EU. As the UK is still in the EU Customs Union (until 31st December and bound by its rule) and the majority of all duty is remitted back to the EU, it is surprising that it has taken this long for all member states to approve this suspension of duty on these products; given how far ahead mainland Europe is in terms of virus casualties.“

He added: “The current US administration is considering deferring all customs duties on imports to assist business in terms of cash flow and easing the global supply chain costs of moving goods internationally. Surely, now this is something the EU must consider centrally beyond the existing limited pre-authorised deferral regime to further assist hard-hit UK/EU firms.”

https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/PPE-medical-equipment-import-duty.jpg?fit=900%2C566&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/PPE-medical-equipment-import-duty.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettBusiness SupportCoronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Sector NewsGovernment & Local AuthoritiesNewsroomSector NewsBlick Rothenberg,cash flow,EU Customs Union,Import Duty,Personal Protection Equipment,PPE,Tax Duty,VAT,WCO,WTOOn the 1st April, the government announced that it is to suspend import duty on Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) as the UK continues the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.Throughout the outbreak of the pandemic, PPE has been one of the continuous points of contention as many healthcare professionals stress...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals