The decision was taken at the request of the Member States and the United Kingdom in order to financially facilitate the procurement of urgently needed medical equipment.
The measure applies to masks and protective equipment as well as to test kits, respiratory equipment and other medical devices.
“This is our contribution to reducing the price pressure on medical and protective equipment and making it more affordable,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a video message.
On 20 March 2020, the Commission asked all Member States and the United Kingdom to apply for duty and VAT exemptions for protective equipment and other medical devices imported from third countries. All Member States and the United Kingdom have done so according to EU information. According to the institution, the Commission quickly approved the requests of all Member States.
The decision to suspend customs duties and VAT applies retroactively to all imports from 30 January and is initially scheduled for a period of six months.