EU Prolongs Import-Duty Waiver for Equipment to Fight Pandemic

The European Union let its member countries suspend import duties on medical equipment needed to fight the coronavirus for three more months.

The European Commission allowed EU governments to waive the bloc’s tariffs on goods such as masks, testing kits and ventilators until Oct. 31 amid a resurgence in Covid-19 cases worldwide. The move also maintains a suspension of value-added tax on the products.

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“Since the number of Covid-19 infections in member states still poses public health risks and as shortages for goods needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic are still reported in the member states, it is necessary to extend the period,” the commission, the 27-nation EU’s executive arm in Brussels, said on Monday in the Official Journal.

The EU import-duty and VAT relief was introduced in early April when Europe had become the epicenter of the pandemic and was struggling to contain it. The suspension of levies has applied retroactively from Jan. 30 and was due to lapse on July 31.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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