On 26th April Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that “Coronavirus Emergency Commissioner Arcuri was issuing a legal notice whereby the price of face masks was fixed at 50 euro cents, and that a law would be drafted to ensure zero VAT on facial protection masks”.
Today, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri announced that a legal notice was being published lowering VAT on face masks from 18 to 5%.
Schembri said that changing the VAT is an international process, and that they had attempted to get a tax exemption from European authorities for these masks and shields but had been unsuccessful in this regard.
So the best reduction they could make was to lower the VAT to 5%.
If what the Italian Prime Minister Conte declared was correct, why is the European Union discriminating between Italy and Malta, allowing the former to introduce 0%VAT on face masks?
Another question to ask: with regards to face masks imported from China, where VAT does not apply but customs duty does, is this customs duty being eliminated or reduced?