The Swedish region of Skåne is forced to pay SEK 155.000 in customs duties after importing face masks from China which has shown to be declared and classified with an incorrect product code, media STV reports.
During the pandemic, the Swedish region spent SEK 13 million on a chartered flight to China to bring back much-needed protective equipment for its healthcare workers including amongst other items, face masks.
The Swedish Customs has now made a special review of the import operations in the region and found that the face masks that were purchased were declared and classified with an incorrect product code. This means that a duty fee of 6.3 percent must be placed on these goods, corresponding to SEK 155,000.
On 26 May this year, the EU introduced rules that goods such as protective equipment and medical technology needed during the pandemic must be duty-free however and this means that the region could have applied for duty-free treatment of the goods.
Rikard Norberg, controller at the Group office says that the exemption of duty fees only applies if the items are all used up by the end of December. “ We think we have done this, by using them in healthcare and having some in emergency stocks,” he says.
Sweden’s municipalities and county councils (SKR) are now investigating whether goods that are in emergency storage should be considered used up and therefore exempt from duty fees.