LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has waived import taxes on medical equipment, including ventilators, coronavirus testing kits and protective clothing, finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday, in an effort to improve the supply of goods to hospitals.
Britain is bracing for the peak of the coronavirus crisis which is expected to test the capacity of its publicly funded healthcare service to the limit in the coming weeks. Official figures showed 1,789 coronavirus patients have died so far.
“Waiving import taxes on vital medical equipment such as ventilators will speed up and increase the supply of critical items going to our frontline health workers,” Sunak said in a statement.
Britain is seeking tens of thousands of ventilators to cope with expected demand, and has ordered 10,000 units from a consortium of leading aerospace, engineering and Formula One racing companies.
The import duty changes came into effect on Friday, but were only announced on Tuesday. The finance ministry said they would make Britain more attractive to companies who want to produce or donate equipment.
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.