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Basic customs duty & health cess to be waived on oxygen & oxygen- related equipment
New Delhi, April 25, 2021
Basic customs duty & health cess will be waived on oxygen & oxygen related equipment along with exemption for COVID-related vaccines from basic customs duty.
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday to review steps taken to boost oxygen availability in the country.
He said there was an immediate need to augment the supply of medical grade oxygen as well as equipment required for patient care both at home and in hospitals. All ministries and departments need to work in synergy to increase the availability of oxygen and medical supplies, he said.
An official press release said the Prime Minister was informed about the recent decision to exempt Remdesivir and its API from basic customs duty. It was suggested that the import of equipment related to providing oxygen to patients needs to be expedited. To augment their production and availability and to meet the rising demand, it was decided to grant full exemption from basic customs duty and health cess on import of the following items related to oxygen and oxygen-related equipment for three months with immediate effect.
These include Oxygen concentrator along with flow meter, regulator, connectors and tubing; Vacuum Pressure Swing Absorption (VPSA) and Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen plants, Cryogenic Oxygen Air Separation Units (ASUs) producing liquid/ gaseous oxygen; Oxygen Cannister; Oxygen Filling Systems; Oxygen Storage tanks, Oxygen cylinders including cryogenic cylinders and tanks; Oxygen Generators; ISO Containers for Shipping Oxygen; Cryogenic Road transport tanks for Oxygen; Parts of the above to be used for the manufacture of equipment for production, transportation, distribution or storage of Oxygen; Any other device from which Oxygen can be generated
Also on the exempted list are Ventilators (capable of functioning as high-flow devices) with a nasal cannula; Compressors including all accessories and tubing; humidifiers and Viral filters; High flow nasal cannula device with all attachments; Helmets for use with non-invasive ventilation; Non-invasive ventilation oronasal masks for ICU ventilators; Non-invasive ventilation nasal masks for ICU ventilators.
It was also decided that basic customs duty on import of COVID vaccines is exempted with immediate effect for three months.
The release said the decisions would boost the availability of these items as well as make them cheaper.
Modi directed the Revenue Department to ensure seamless and quick customs clearance of such equipment. Accordingly, the Department of Revenue has nominated Gaurav Masaldan, Joint Secretary, Customs, as the nodal officer for issues related to customs clearance for the items.
According to the release, the Government has taken a lot of measures in the last few days to improve the supply of oxygen and medical supplies. Indian Air Force (IAF) planes are bringing in cryogenic oxygen tanks from Singapore. IAF is also transporting oxygen tankers in the country to reduce travel times. Similarly, free food grains will be given to 80 crore Indians for May and June 2021.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and senior officials participated in the meeting.