The discount is also retroactive.
By Friday noon, financiers cleared 7.5 million surgical masks, 193,600 face shields and 28,600 protective clothing duty-free and VAT-exempt. According to the decision of the European Commission published yesterday, in view of the emergency situation caused by the coronavirus epidemic, health protection equipment imported free of charge from abroad is free of public burden, the State Secretary for Taxation Izer Norbert informed MTI.
Duty-free and VAT-free healthcare products not only provide tax relief, but can also help fight the coronavirus, the Secretary of State summed up. Norbert Izer recalled that the Hungarian government, together with several countries, had turned to the European Commission last week and asked it to exempt from the public burden the import of face masks and other medical equipment needed to prevent the epidemic for charitable purposes. The European Commission published its decision on the authorization yesterday, he added.
According to the decision of the committee, mouth masks and other protective equipment are duty-free and VAT-free if they are distributed free of charge to those involved in combating the epidemic. Public burden relief also applies when used by those involved in combating the epidemic, but the protective equipment remains the property of the state or another organization.
Norer Izer said the amount saved by the measure is significant, as the duty rate for mouth masks, for example, is 6.3 percent or 12 percent, depending on what material they are made of. In addition to the customs duty, the sales equipment is also subject to VAT, the Secretary of State explained.
By midnight on Friday, the financiers cleared 7.5 million surgical masks duty-free and VAT-free, but given that the Commission decision applies to medical equipment imported between 30 January 2020 and 31 July 2020, the reduction is therefore retroactive, ie in the case of compliant protective equipment, the duty and VAT already paid can be reclaimed, the Secretary of State explained. For example, it is true that financiers cleared 7.5 million surgical masks duty-free and VAT by noon on Friday, but this value could increase significantly if we consider that 39 million face masks have already arrived from early March to noon yesterday. After the products that meet the duty-free condition, the National Tax and Customs Board (NAV) returns the paid public burden.
NAV plays an important role in preventing the epidemic, said Norbert Izer. As he said, at the airport, NAV's financiers work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with an average of 22 minutes for each consignment to be cleared through customs.
In recent weeks, the government has taken a number of measures to slow down the epidemic, protect the health of the Hungarian people, and protect Hungarian families, the economy, and jobs. One of the most important preconditions for the control of the epidemic is that the health products should be imported as widely as possible and, if the conditions are met, without public burdens, the Secretary of State said.