Poland enacts new measures in response to COVID-19

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This week new facilitations and limitations in connection with COVID-19 were introduced in Poland. They include the exemption from taxes on import and intracommunity purchase of selected goods and a new ban on the export of selected goods.

VAT exemptions for COVID-19 donations

On 7 April 2020, the Polish Ministry of Finance adopted an amendment to the regulation on exemptions from VAT to facilitate donations of critical drugs and equipment in the fight against COVID-19. Pursuant to the new rules, the import and intracommunity purchase of the following goods are exempted from VAT until 31 August 2020:

  • medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices;
  • laboratory glassware and apparatus;
  • medicinal products and active substances;
  • biocidal products (only disinfectants);
  • specialist diagnostic tests for analysis and detection of pathogenic agents in the human body, water, air, and soil; and
  • personal protective equipment – only masks, face shields, goggles, protective glasses, coveralls, shoe protectors, caps, and gloves

on condition that such products are donated for purposes of the fight against COVID-19 on the basis of a written donation agreement. Copy of the agreement must be presented to the head of the customs and tax office during the formalities related to the import of goods.

Donations can be made to:

    • the Material Reserves Agency,
    • the Central Base of Sanitary and Anti-Epidemic Reserves, or
    • medical facilities that provide hospital treatment exclusively in connection with COVID-19 countermeasures.

In the case that the import and/or purchase of goods occurred after 1 February 2020 but before 9 April 2020, the exemption can be applied if the donation is confirmed in writing. For imports during that period, the copy of the donation agreement or written confirmation of the donation should be presented to the head of the customs and tax office when applying for determination of the appropriate amount of the tax.

COVID-19 in Poland: Export ban on critical medical equipment continues

On 31 March 2020, the Polish Government issued a new regulation that amended the previous rules related to export and sales of certain medical equipment outside Poland. The regulation, as amended on 7 April, continues to stipulate a ban on the export and sale of ventilators (from 31 March) and cardio monitors (from April 8) outside Poland. The ban on both types of equipment applies until revoked unless the voivodship governor agrees to allow the export or sale of cardio monitors to take place after consultation with the national consultant for anesthesiology and intensive care. The exception does not apply to ventilators.

The obligation to notify the intention to export or sell protective goggles, TYVEK-type suits, face masks type FFP2/FFP3, surgical masks, shoe protectors, or latex and nitrile gloves remained unchanged. The obligation to notify about the intention to export or sell selected goods was amended in terms of disinfectants. Notification is also required in relation to biocidal products, medical devices, and medicinal products for disinfection. The regulation seems not to apply to cosmetics or other types of products that can be used for disinfection.

Notification is required not later than 36 hours prior to the intended export or sale rather than 24 hours as stipulated in the previous regulation.

Please note that the governor still has the authority to request that the Prime Minister ban the notified export or sale.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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