"Given the functions performed and inherent to their legal nature, the humanitarian firefighters' associations are now expressly included in the list of entities that benefit from the VAT exemption on the purchase of equipment needed to combat Covid-19, according to an order no. 8422/2020, published in Diário da República.

Signed by the Assistant Secretaries of State and Tax Affairs, António Mendonça Mendes, of Social Action, Rita da Cunha Mendes, and Assistant and Health, Jamila Madeira, the diploma extends this tax exemption - recently extended until 31 October - "to entities that, not holding a license for social responses or a cooperation agreement for the development of social responses, assume the pursuit of charitable or philanthropic purposes, by demonstrating the use of the goods in question for the purposes provided for by law".

The order - which comes into force on 3 August, with effect from 30 January - further clarifies that "all entities belonging to the National Network of Integrated Continued Care" are covered by the exemption.

Already included by the VAT exemption were the establishments and health units of the private or social sector, inserted in the national plan of the National Health Service to fight Covid-19, with contracts signed with the Ministry of Health and that are included in a list disclosed in the Internet site of the Central Administration of the Health System.

Also covered are "entities that hold a license for social responses [...] or have a cooperation agreement for the development of social responses [...], which are listed on the website of the Social Security Institute, the Social Security Institute of the Azores and the Social Security Institute of Madeira".

These include medical devices such as respirators and ventilators and other hospital and medical items such as monitors, pumps, tubes, helmets, masks, suction systems, humidifiers, laryngoscopes or monitoring stations.