In the previous edition of our COVID-19 update we had reported on a new waiver of duties and VAT on imports of goods, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Following frequent contacts with the European Commission, Independent Retail Europe has now received confirmation that the Decision can be applied to supermarkets when they import PPE for their own „immediate benefit„, i.e. to provide their staff with the protection they need. Under the decision, the competent authorities in the Member States will have the final say over the applicability of the exemption meaning, they first need to approve (food) distributors as organisations that can import certain goods for the protection of their staff. They will also have to take the necessary measures to ensure that the goods imported duty and VAT free are in fact being delivered to the bodies eligible for exemption. To obtain such official approval, members are advised to ask their national associations to contact their competent national authority or, alternatively, their customs authority which should be able to refer them to the competent authority (for more information, see Info Flash 07/2020).
COVID-19 update 10 – 07-09/04/2020