Border Force prioritising checks on medical equipment

Wed 15 Apr 2020
Posted by: Ana Pintor
Trade News

UK Border Force last week announced it is prioritising checks on shipments of medical equipment to speed up delivery to the NHS.

To do this, Border Force is working closely with suppliers, the NHS and HMRC to ensure all the relevant shipments are flagged.

The NHS is flagging critical shipments in advance to Border Force to allow officers to process them as soon as possible, while continuing to do security checks.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the move was part of doing “whatever necessary to help the national effort to tackle this virus. That is why Border Force are prioritising medical equipment so that it can enter the UK as soon as possible”.

Import tax waiver

Last month the Treasury announced it was waiving import taxes on medical equipment crucial to the fight against coronavirus.

The Institute of Export & International Trade is advising members involved in medical imports to ensure they use the correct classification code and that goods are clearly described on commercial documentation, for example “medical equipment required for Coronavirus (Covid-19) response”.

Border Force has stressed all shipments remain subject to the same controls including checks against illegal immigration, prohibited and restricted items and revenue fraud.

The Institute of Export & International Trade is keen to hear of your experiences around the import of medical equipment, so that we can share best practice.

If you are willing to share these experiences, please email