Permanent importation of certain substances of a therapeutic or medical-related nature

You can import the following therapeutic substances from outside the European Union (EU) free from payment of Customs Duty and Value-Added Tax (VAT):

  • human blood and its derivatives
  • blood-grouping reagents
  • tissue-typing reagents.

You can also import special packaging needed for the transport of these goods or solvents and accessories needed for their use free from the payment of duty.

What rules apply to the relief?

  • The goods must be imported by institutions or laboratories approved by Revenue and used for non-commercial medical or scientific purposes.
  • You must have a certificate of conformity issued by a duly authorised body in the non-EU country of departure.
  • The goods must be in containers and have a special label to identify them.

How to apply for relief

Institutions or laboratories wishing to avail of this relief should apply for approval to Authorisations Reliefs Unit before importing the goods. If Revenue is satisfied that your application is in order we will send you a letter of authorisation containing a unique reference number.

Procedure at importation

You should attach the following to the outside of your parcel and mark it ‘customs documents’:

  • your authorisation letter
  • a letter from the importer stating that the goods are exclusively for non commercial medical or scientific purposes
  • a certificate of conformity issued by a duly authorised body in the third country of departure.

If you are importing your goods through the post the declaration (CN22 or CN23) on the parcel should state the following:

'Therapeutic substances & reagents: exemption from import charges claimed'.

If you are importing your goods other than by post, for example by courier, you should complete a customs declaration. You should enter code C16 in box 37b and enter code 1D09 in box 44/1 to avail of this relief.

The authorisation number from your letter of authorisation should be entered in box 44/2.

Further information

If you need further information, contact Authorisations Reliefs Unit.