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Parliamentary questions
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16 November 2020
Priority question for written answer  P-006207/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (PPE)
 Subject: Lowering VAT on surgical masks

Ever since the outbreak of the first wave of COVID-19, Member States have declared that surgical masks are an essential measure and made it compulsory for the public to wear them as the main way to avoid infection.

Aware that this constitutes an unexpected additional cost, and one that coincided with the start of the economic crisis caused by the virus, a number of Member States lowered their VAT rate on this item.

Spain, however, has until recently kept VAT on masks at the standard domestic rate (21 %), claiming that lowering it would infringe EU regulations.

In light of this, it would be interesting to know:

1. Is there any legal impediment on the EU’s side that could have blocked the lowering of this VAT rate?

2. If so, how is it that Member States such as Portugal, France or Germany were able to lower their VAT rate on masks months ago?

Original language of question: ES
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