VAT may be payable when importing generic medicines in to the UK
Simon Collins, HIV i-Base
The i-Base Q&A resources about buying generic medicines online have been modified to include examples of paying VAT and a customs clearance fee.
This is based on reports that some people ordering PrEP online have been asked for an additional payment.
For example, one person ordering three months of PrEP was asked by Parcel Force to pay Import VAT of £21.60 before the parcel could be released. They also had to pay a clearance fee of £13.50.
These additional charges don’t seem to affect all orders, but are legal.
It might be just good or bad luck whether this happens, depending on whether the parcel is picked up for this duty.
We have updated the following related question to include this information:
- Where can I buy PrEP or HCV meds online and is it legal in the UK?