VAT exemption for imports of dental prostheses

The measure

Supplies of dental services by registered dental professionals are VAT exempt, and the exemption extends to dental prostheses. However, the exemption does not currently extend to imported goods. 

Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, EU VAT rules continue to apply to the supply of goods in Northern Ireland and the movement of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland are treated as imports. Accordingly, following the end of the Brexit transition period, the VAT exemption would not apply to dental prostheses supplied between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Without an exemption for imports there is a risk of a mismatch where dental professionals in Northern Ireland are required to pay VAT on imports of dental prostheses from GB into NI but are unable to recover the VAT. This could potentially force price increases for patients. 

To remedy this, a VAT exemption will be introduced for the importation into the UK of dental prostheses. This will mean that imports into the UK of dental prostheses, and supplies of dental prostheses from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, by registered dental professionals will be VAT exempt. 

The measure is to apply retrospectively, from the end of the Brexit transition period.


Who will be affected?

Registered dentists and other dental professional and their customers.


When will the measure come into effect?

This measure will take effect on or after the date of Royal Assent of Finance Bill 2021 and will apply retrospectively from 1 January 2021.

Our view

This measure provides relief from an unintended consequence of Brexit, and is being retrospectively applied to ensure there is uniformity in the position throughout the United Kingdom.