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1.48pm BST

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1.48pm BST

Border guards have introduced a new process to speed up incoming shipments of medical supplies, the Home Office has said.

Critical shipments are now flagged to border force in advance by the NHS so officers can process them as soon as possible.

The some secretary, Priti Patel, said: “This will ensure that the NHS and frontline workers can get the equipment they need as quickly as possible so they can continue saving lives and fighting the virus”

The process has been in place since the beginning of April, the Home Office said, with Border Force working with suppliers, the NHS and HMRC to ensure all relevant shipments are flagged. The move comes after the Treasury announced that it was waiving import taxes on medical equipment.

All shipments remain subject to the same controls including checks against illegal immigration, prohibited and restricted items and revenue fraud, the Home Office added.

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