Permanent importation of medical equipment

You can import the following medical equipment from outside the European Union (EU) free from payment of Customs Duty:

  • instruments and apparatus intended for medical research, establishing medical diagnoses or carrying out medical treatment
  • spare parts, components, accessories and tools designed for the maintenance and repair of these instruments and apparatus.

There is no relief from the payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT).

What rules apply to the relief?

The goods must be:

  • donated by a charitable organisation or private individual to health authorities, hospital departments or medical research institutions approved by Revenue to be received free from Customs Duty, or
  • purchased by health authorities, hospitals or medical research institutions with funds provided by charitable organisations or voluntary contributions.

If your goods are donated, there must be no commercial intent on the part of the donor. The donor must be in no way connected with the manufacturer of the goods on which the relief is claimed.

How to apply for relief

The health authority, hospital or medical research institution should apply for approval to the Authorisations and 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 your authorisation letter to the outside of your parcel and mark it ‘customs documents’.

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

'Apparatus for medical research: exemption from Customs Duty claimed'.

If you are importing your goods other than by post, for example, by courier, an electronic declaration is required and the goods must be presented to Revenue.

Code C17 should be entered in box 37b and Code 1D09 should be entered in box 44/1 to avail of the 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 and Reliefs Unit.