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Parliamentary questions
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27 October 2020
Question for written answer  E-005837/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Adrián Vázquez Lázara (Renew)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: VAT on masks and other medical devices in Spain in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic

Directive 2006/112/EC establishes a reduced rate of tax for a number of products, including pharmaceuticals.

On 3 April 2020, at the request of several Member States, the Commission approved the temporary suspension of VAT and other taxes on imports of medical supplies (surgical masks, FFP masks or hydroalcoholic gels) and protective equipment. As a result, countries violating the VAT Regulation during the COVID-19 pandemic would not be penalised and forced to lower or eliminate VAT on those products.

Following this temporary suspension, a number of countries lowered this rate of tax (to 5.5% in France and 6% in Portugal), while the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy eliminated it altogether.

However, on 27 October 2020, Spain’s Government declared that there is a European regulation which prevents a reduction in VAT on masks, and that this is not a decision taken by the Spanish Government.

Can the Commission clarify this statement, in line with Commission declarations and current EU tax regulations?

Can the Commission confirm whether it exceptionally exempts countries from complying with Directive 2006/112/EC to reduce or eliminate taxes on medical supplies, such as masks or PPE?

Original language of question: ES
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