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EU waives customs duties, VAT on imports of medical equipment


BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission approved on Friday requests from EU countries and Britain to temporarily waive customs duties and VAT on imported medical devices and protective equipment to help fight the coronavirus epidemic.

The duty-free kit includes masks, testing kits and ventilators and the exemption will apply for a period of 6 months, with a possibility for further extension. The decision takes effect retroactively from January 30.

"By waiving customs and VAT duties on imports of these products from outside the EU, the European Commission will help make those products more accessible," Paolo Gentiloni, EU commissioner for the economy, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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