Permanent importation of medical equipment

You can import the following medical equipment from outside the European Union (EU) without 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 following rules apply to the goods:

  • They must be donated by a charitable organisation or private individual to health authorities, hospital departments or medical research institutions. The health authority, hospital or institution must be approved by Revenue to receive the goods free from Customs Duty.
  • or
  • They must be 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 your application is in order, Revenue will send you a letter of authorisation containing a unique reference number.

Procedure at importation

The sender of the goods should:

  • attach the letter of authorisation mentioned above to the outside of the parcel and mark it ‘customs documents’.
  • provide information about the goods to the postal service or courier that is handling the parcel. This information about the goods should include the following:
    • an accurate description
    • a commodity code
      and
    • the value.
  • mark the parcel ‘Apparatus for medical research: exemption from Customs Duty claimed’.

The courier or postal service handling the package can use this information to complete an electronic customs declaration by using Revenue's Automated Import System (AIS).

On this customs declaration they should:

  • declare the goods as apparatus for medical research
  • enter code C17 in D/E 1/11
  • and
  • enter code 1D09 and the authorisation number from your letter of authorisation in D/E 2/3.

Further information

If you need further information, contact Authorisations and Reliefs Unit.