The coronavirus and your customs transactions

Here are some details of how the coronavirus (COVID-19) may affect your customs transactions.

Classification of medical devices

To facilitate cross-border trade in medical devices, the World Customs Organization (WCO) has compiled a list embodying a Harmonised System (HS) classification. A harmonised classification is essential for there to be no unnecessary obstacles when sending goods to consignees.

The commodity codes on the list are only suggestions. As usual, you yourself must assess your goods to check that they match what is suggested.

Take a look at the list and its commodity codes. (Version 3.0, 2 June 2020)

Read more on the WCO’s website about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting customs operations worldwide.

Exemption from customs duty and VAT when importing certain goods for protecting against and fighting COVID-19

On 3 April 2020, the EU Commission decided on a customs duty and VAT exemption for imports of protective equipment and other medical devices necessary for fighting COVID-19 and helping those who have already been affected. Initially, the exemption applied to imports as of 30 January 2020 up until the end of 31 July 2020. As there is still a great need for protective equipment to fight the pandemic, this period has been extended a few times. Exemption now applies up until the end of 30 June 2022.

Goods shall be imported either directly or as commissioned by:

  • state, public and other public-law bodies (e.g. public agencies, regional and municipal government bodies, county councils and similar public bodies);
  • private organisations (e.g. privately owned health and care companies) that wholly or partly provide public services governed by public law and subject to checks by public authorities/agencies.
  • emergency aid and other voluntary and philanthropic organisations that Swedish Customs has approved as recipients of duty-free imports.

Read more about customs duty and VAT exemption. NB! The information is in Swedish only. Please contact us with any questions.

The coronavirus and certain countries’ certificates for preferential treatment

Owing to the extraordinary situation caused by the coronavirus, several countries have notified the EU that, at the moment, they cannot issue originals of certificates for preferential treatment. Instead, they are using copies of these. When the pandemic is over, companies in the EU must ensure that they get originals to replace these copies. To verify compliance with this, Swedish Customs will be carrying out retrospective certificate checks.

At import, Swedish Customs will, owing to the coronavirus and until further notice, be exceptionally accepting copies of certificates from certain countries. This applies to certificates issued no earlier than 1 March 2020. Since 21 June 2021, this also applies when you apply for amendment of a customs declaration.

Read more about the coronavirus and certain countries’ certificates for preferential treatment. NB! The information is in Swedish only. Please contact us with any questions.


Last updated:

What is updated: Information removed because the temporary entry ban is no longer in force.

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