Personal protection equipment: import duty relief (update)


The corona virus is a huge challenge for citizens and businesses. We notice that many wish to contribute to combating the virus, such as donating personal protective equipment (PPE) to care institutions. It is really needed as there is a substantial shortage.

Under certain conditions, personal protection equipment may be imported with duty relief.


On 26 March 2020, we published our first news release on this topic. You will find important supplementary information below. You will note typical examples of personal protection equipment. We provide an explanation as to how to apply for an authorisation for duty relief. 

What is personal protection equipment?

Personal protection equipment includes at any rate:

  • FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 masks
  • Medical protective coats
  • Safety splash goggles
  • Medical aprons
  • Surgical masks
  • Examination gloves
  • Diagnostic tests

The conditions for import duty relief

Prior to being able to make use of the duty relief, you must apply for an authorisation from Customs. You may only apply to Customs in the Member State where the (care) institution is based. 

To be eligible for the authorisation, you have to meet the conditions set out in the Council Regulation (EC) No. 1186/2009.

  • The personal protective equipment must be imported by an organisation which falls within one of the following categories:
    • government institutions
    • charity institutions or philanthropic organisations
    • relief agencies, hospitals, care institutions or care providers entered into the BIG Register (the Register of the Professions in Individual Health Care)
Please note!

Charity institutions and philanthropic organisations currently only include the Dutch Red Cross and the Salvation Army. These 2 kinds of organisations are exempted from the authorisation requirement.

• The goods are made available at no charge to the victims of a disaster or the goods are used for the benefit of the victims. Alternatively, the goods are at any rate used for a relief agency for the duration of their assistance. Covid-19 is defined as a disaster.

To apply for an authorisation

Are you an organisation referred to in the list above?  Please apply for the authorisation to what is referred to as the commercial contact point in your area. During the course of the corona crisis, you can contact the commercial contact points by e-mail and you can find the e-mail addresses at douane-telefoonnummers voor bedrijven, under 'Contact met de Douane tijdens de coronacrisis'. The commercial contact point will send you a 'care institution statement' as soon as possible.  Please complete the form and return it to the commercial contact point.

Are you a company or an intermediary acting on behalf of an (relief)organisation? You can arrange for the licence in the same way. However, do not complete the 'care institution statement' yourself but make arrangements for the (relief) organisation to complete that section – as they will be using the duty relief.

Did you get permission from the commercial contact point to use the duty relief? Note the duty relief code C26 in your import declaration. The relief organisation will receive the licence retrospectively from Customs. 

Read more news in the news overview

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