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Ad hoc exemption from IGST on imports of specified COVID-19 relief material donated from abroad
New Delhi, May 4, 2021
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Government has issued notifications exempting basic customs duty and/or health cess on imports of several COVID-19 related relief materials, for a limited period.
These include Remdesivir injection/ API and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD) and Inflammatory diagnostic (markers) kits, which have been exempted till October 31,2021. Medical grade oxygen, oxygen therapy-related equipment such as oxygen concentrators, cryogenic transport tanks, etc, and COVID-19 vaccines have been exempted till July 31, 2021.
An official press release said the Central Government had received a number of representations from charitable organizations, corporate entities and other associations/ entities outside India seeking exemption from IGST on the import of COVID-19 relief material (already exempted from customs duty), donated/received free of cost from outside India for free distribution.
Accordingly, the Central Government has, through Ad hoc exemption Order number 4/2021 dated 3rd May 2021, granted exemption from IGST on import of such goods received free of cost for free distribution for COVID relief.
This exemption shall apply till 30th June, 2021. It would also cover goods already imported but lying uncleared on the date of its issuance of exemption, the order said.
The exemption will be subject to certain conditions. The State Government should appoint a nodal authority in the State for the purpose of this exemption. As per section 2 (103) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, the state includes a Union Territory with Legislature.
The nodal authority so appointed shall authorise any entity, relief agency or statutory body, for free distribution of such COVID relief material. The said goods can be imported free of cost by a State Government or, any entity/ relief agency/ statutory body, authorized in this regard for free distribution anywhere in India.
The importer shall before clearance of goods from Customs produce a certificate from the said nodal authorities that goods are meant for free distribution for COVID relief.
After imports, the importer shall produce, to the Deputy or Assistant Commissioner of Customs at the port within a period of six months from the date of importation or within such extended period not exceeding nine months, a simple statement containing details of goods imported and distributed free of cost. This statement shall be certified by the said nodal authority of the State Government.
This exemption shall thus enable the import of the COVID relief supply imported free of cost for free distribution without payment of IGST (up to the 30th June 2021).
As customs duty is already exempt, these imports will not attract any customs duty or IGST, the release added.