Following Cabinet Decision No. 9/12 O dated 1 September 2020 and Ministerial Decision No. 380 of 2020 issued by the Minister of Health and Prevention on 6 December 2020 (with effect from 1 September 2020), the Federal Tax Authority (“FTA”) has released a VAT Public Clarification VATP023 on “Temporary Zero-rating of Certain Medical Equipment” (the “Public Clarification”).

The document prescribes that supply or import of certain personal protective equipment made during the period from 1 September 2020 to 28 February 2021 and used for the protection from Covid-19 shall be considered as Medical Equipment subject to VAT at zero-rate (0%).

Such medical equipment is limited to the following items:

  • medical face masks,
  • half filtered face masks,
  • non-medical “community” face masks (made from textile),
  • single-use gloves; and
  • chemical disinfectants and antiseptics intended for use on the human body (but excluding detergents, cosmetics and personal care products).

In case a supply or import takes place outside the specified period (i.e. before 1 September 2020 or after 28 February 2021), it would be subject to VAT at 5% as per general rules.

The application of zero-rating has retroactive effect from 1 September 2020. This means that in cases where a supplier is aware of the identity of a recipient, he should issue and deliver a tax credit note to the recipient in order to refund any VAT overcharged on the supply of the above equipment during the relevant period. If the recipient cannot be identified, the supplier should report and remit collected VAT amounts to the FTA.

Should you have any queries with regard to this Public Clarification, please get in touch with your usual KPMG contact, or any of the contacts below.

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