Imported personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies to be used in the fight against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will not only enjoy tax- and duty-free entry but also exemption from donor’s tax, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said.
Revenue Regulations No. 6-2020 issued by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay implemented the tax exemptions extended under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
In a statement, the Department of Finance said exempted from import duties, value-added tax, excise tax and other fees were: PPE, COVID-19 test kits, medical and laboratory equipment and devices, consumable medical supplies, medicines and other supplies identified by the Department of Health.
To fast-track their release from ports, the BIR also allowed the exemption of these articles from the requirement to secure authority to release imported goods.
“Donations of these imported articles to or for the use of the national government or any entity created by any of its agencies, which is not for profit … are exempt from donor’s tax, and subject to the ordinary rules of deductibility under existing rules,” RR 6-2020 read.
As early as two weeks ago, eight government agencies and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council designated imported medical and emergency supplies as relief consignments after the country was placed under a state of calamity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest Bureau of Customs (BOC) data showed that between March 9 and April 1, the BOC had already released a total of 4,204 PPE shipments.
“We want to ensure that PPEs, test kits and other medical supplies shipped to the Philippines are released at the soonest time possible. Thus, we are being flexible with rules on the importation of these items,” Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said. —BEN O. DE VERA
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