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

The sender of the goods should:

  • provide information about the goods to the postal service or courier that is handling the parcel. This information about the goods should include the following:
    • an accurate description
    • a commodity code
    • and
    • the value.
  • mark the parcel ‘Therapeutic substances and reagents: exemption from import charges claimed’.

The courier or postal service handling the package can use this information to complete an electronic customs declaration by using Revenue's Automated Import System (AIS).

On this customs declaration they should:

  • declare the goods as 'therapeutic substances and reagents' in D/E 2/3
  • enter code C16 in D/E 1/11
  • and
  • enter code 1D09 and the authorisation number from your letter of authorisation in D/E 2/3.

Revenue may ask for the letter of authorisation described above to support your claim for relief.

Further information

If you need further information, contact the Authorisations Reliefs Unit.