In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Central Government has exempted IGST or integrated GST on import of such goods received free of cost for free distribution of Covid relief. In this article, we will discuss No GST on the Import of COVID relief products.
No GST on Import of COVID relief products
In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Central Government has exempted IGST integrated GST on import of such goods received free of cost for free allocation of Covid relief.
The exemption is ad hoc and applicable for all specified imports made till June 30, 2021. The exemption will also include goods already imported but lying uncleared on the date of its issuance of exemption which starts from Monday.
The Government had earlier published notification for exempting Basic Customs Duty and/or Health cess imports of a number of Covid-19 related relief materials, for a restricted period.
These combined Remdesivir injection/ API and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD), Inflammatory diagnostic (markers) kits, imports of which have been exempted from customs till October 31, 2021. Also, imports of Medical grade Oxygen, oxygen therapy-related materials such as oxygen concentrators, cryogenic transport tanks, etc., and Covid-19 vaccines have been exempted till July 31, 2021.
This exemption (from IGST) shall thus enable import of the Covid relief supply imported free of cost for free allocation without payment of IGST up to June 30, 2021). As customs duty is already exempt, these imports will not mention any customs duty or IGST, a finance ministry statement stated.
Further Notification by Central Government
The Central government had obtained a number of representations from charitable organisations, corporate entities, and other Associations/entities outside India seeking exemption from IGST the import of Covid-19 relief material (already exempted from customs duty), donated obtained free of cost from outside India for free distribution.
The IGST exemption, however, is conditional. The Centre had concerned that the state governments shall appoint a nodal authority for the objective of this exemption. Such authority will then authorize any entity, relief agency or statutory body, for free distribution of such Covid-relief object.
Also, the government stated that goods can be imported free of cost by a state government or any entity/ relief agency/ statutory body, approved 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 considered for free distribution for Covid relief.
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