Proposal for a COUNCIL DIRECTIVE amending Directive 2006/112/EC as regards exemptions on importations and on certain supplies, in respect of Union measures in the public interest

1. The Principal VAT Directive (PVD), 2006/112/EC, specifies the rules regarding the application of Value Added Tax (VAT) to goods and services in the European Union (EU).

2. As part of the response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Council of the European Union (‘the Council’) has stated that the pandemic has shown that the VAT charged on some transactions ends up being a cost factor in procurement operations that strains budgets. They have set out that those amounts of VAT reduce the volume of goods and services – which the Commission can procure for stockpiling or immediate distribution to Member States – whilst adding complexity and delaying operations to address urgent needs. In addition, the Council believe that compliance costs can become a burden for businesses who are providing goods and services to the EU.

3. Consequently, this proposal provides for an exemption from VAT of goods and services imported by the Commission or other EU body where these institutions use these goods or services in the context of EU official sector activities in the area of crisis management. These goods include, for example, biological products, drugs medicines and personal protective equipment; but also non-medical items needed for addressing a humanitarian crisis such as tents, sandbags and life jackets. The reason that the scope of the proposal is broad-based, covering many types of goods and services, is to provide the EU with solutions to the array of crisis management activities it may need to undertake in the future.

Topic  Customs 
Department  HMT 
Council Reference  7749/21 
COM Reference  COM(21)181 
SEC Reference   
PE Cons   
JOIN   
SWD   
C Reference   

Associated file(s)


  1. 7749/21 - 471 KB - pdf
  2. EM 7749/21 - 84 KB - pdf

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