Temporary VAT Zero Rating available for PPE equipment

What is the change?

The Government has announced the introduction of a temporary VAT zero rating for all supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (‘PPE’).

When does this start and run to?

The relief applies to all supplies which are made between 1 May 2020 and 31 July 2020

What PPE is included?

The relief applies to all PPE recommended for use by Public Health England in its guidance dated 24 April 2020 titled ‘Guidance, COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)’ and includes supplies made from existing stock.

Products covered by the zero rate include:

  • disposable gloves
  • disposable plastic aprons
  • disposable fluid-resistant coveralls or gowns
  • surgical masks – including fluid-resistant type IIR surgical masks
  • filtering face piece respirators
  • eye and face protection – including single or reusable full-face visors or goggles
  • Sanitiser hand wash

What about Imported PPE?

HMRC has previously announced that no import duty and VAT would be due by importers on the importation of PPE, relevant medical devices or equipment into the UK from outside the EU. This relief applies between 30 January 2020 and 31 July 2020

The goods must be imported by or on behalf of an organisation based in the UK who are:

  • state organisations, including state bodies, public bodies and other bodies governed by public law
  • other charitable or philanthropic organisations approved by the competent authorities and non-profit making

Goods can be imported on behalf of one of the organisations if they are to be donated or sold (directly or indirectly) to them. If you are importing goods on behalf of one of the organisations listed, you need to obtain authorisation to claim this relief from NIRU. You can email niru@hmrc.gov.uk for an application form.

You can claim this relief on goods that are imported for free circulation and intended:

  • for distribution free of charge to those affected by, at risk from or involved in combating the coronavirus outbreak
  • to be made available free of charge to those affected by, at risk from or involved in combating the coronavirus outbreak, while remaining the property of the organisations using them

If you have any questions, please email our VAT Partner, Alan Davis on alan.davis@hlca.co.uk