Permanent importation of certain substances of a therapeutic or medical-related nature

You can import the following goods from outside the European Union (EU) free from payment of Customs Duty and Value-Added Tax (VAT):

  • Therapeutic substances including:
    • human blood and its derivatives
    • blood-grouping reagents
    • tissue-typing reagents.
  • Special packaging needed for the transport of these goods or solvents and accessories needed for their use.

What rules apply to the relief?

  • The goods must be imported by institutions or laboratories approved by Revenue.
  • The goods must be used for non-commercial medical or scientific purposes.
  • You must have a certificate of conformity issued by a duly authorised body in the non-EU country of departure.
  • The goods must be in containers and have a special label to identify them.

How to apply for relief

Institutions or laboratories wishing to avail of this relief should apply for approval to Authorisations Reliefs Unit before importing the goods. If Revenue is satisfied that your application is in order we will send you a letter of authorisation. This letter of authorisation will contain a unique reference number.

Procedure at importation

You should attach the following to the outside of your parcel and mark it ‘customs documents’:

  • your authorisation letter
  • a letter from the importer stating that the goods are exclusively for non-commercial medical or scientific purposes
  • a certificate of conformity issued by a duly authorised body in the third country of departure.

When goods are imported by post your declaration (CN22 or CN23) on the parcel should state the following:

‘Therapeutic substances and reagents: exemption from import charges claimed’.

When goods are imported other than by post, for example by courier, you should:

  • complete an electronic customs declaration
  • enter code C16 in box 37b and enter code 1D09 in box 44/1
  • enter the authorisation number from your letter of authorisation in box 44/2.

Further information

If you need further information, contact Authorisations Reliefs Unit.