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Q. What is a NIRU certificate?

For scientific instruments and apparatus, The NIRU certificate is for relief from duty only not VAT. Whether the NIRU certificate can be used needs to be assessed for each purchase- as it depends upon what is being purchased and the use to what it is put.

It is only needed if there is a positive duty rate for the product, which can be found by looking up the commodity code on the UK tariff.

Q. Is Medical Exemption the only way of receiving goods VAT free?

No, if the products would have had VAT charged on them if they had been purchased from the UK then they should not have import VAT charged on them either (use the tax code IMPORT0%). However, you may still need to provide proof of this to whoever is arranging the import . There may also be different VAT reliefs provided in law for specific items (ie. zero rated or exempt items).

Q. How can I receive my goods duty free?

It depends on the exact nature of the product - the first step is to look up the commodity code. It may need a NIRU certificate or other duty reliefs may be available.

Q. My goods qualify for Medical exemption do I need any other documentation?

The goods still might attract customs duty - check the commodity code. If the goods are liable to duty are there any other reliefs that may apply? If so you will need additional certificates to evidence. Even if the goods can be free of duty and VAT you may still need to get an import licence to bring them into the UK.

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Please see our CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 Assistance pages for help with areas of Finance during the current situation.

UFS issued communications and the University website also contain information on this topic

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