Disabled individuals - importing goods

By Tolley

The following Value Added Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Disabled individuals - importing goods
  • Conditions
  • Claiming relief
  • Records
  • NIRU contact details
  • Disposal
  • Appeals

This guidance note provides an overview of the situations where goods can be imported into the UK without payment of import VAT and customs duties. Further information can also be found in HMRC Manual - VAT reliefs for disabled people. A copy of this manual can be found below:

Notice 371 

This note should also be read in conjunction with the Zero-rating - supplies to disabled individuals, Importing goods from outside the EU, Charities – funded medical equipment and Charities - importing goods guidance notes.

Who can import the goods under this relief?

The following organisations can import goods without payment of import VAT and customs duties:

  • organisations that are predominately concerned with educating or assisting disabled individuals and which have been approved by the HMRC National Import Reliefs Unit (NIRU)
  • a disabled person, or their nominated carer, importing eligible goods that will be used solely for their personal use. A nominated carer includes a parent, spouse, guardian, partner or other family member who acts in this capacity. A nominated carer should obtain a letter from the disabled person's GP / consultant confirming that they are acting in this capacity and forward this to NIRU (see below)
  • donated to the organisation with no commercial intent on the part of the donor

SI 1984/746, Sch 2, Group 6, items 6 and 7 (subscription sensitive); VATA 1994, Sch 8, Groups 12, 15; Council Regulation 1186/2009/EC, Chapter XV11, Section B, Art 66 – 73

What goods can be imported under this relief?

The following goods can be imported without payment of import VAT and customs duties:

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