IGST exemption on imported Covid-related relief material has been granted by the Centre until June 30
The Centre exempted imports of Covid-related relief material from the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST), which is imposed on inter-state movement of goods and imports, until June 30. The waiver may also apply to materials that have been donated or obtained for free from other countries for the purpose of donation.
According to a statement from the Finance Ministry, the Centre has received many representations from voluntary organizations, corporate agencies, and other bodies from outside India requesting an exemption from IGST on the import of Covid-19 relief material that has been donated or received for free from outside India for free distribution.
The notification said, “Accordingly, the Central Government has granted exemption from IGST on import of certain products obtained free of cost for free distribution for Covid relief,” and that the exemption would be valid until June 30. This exemption will also apply to products that have already been imported but are awaiting clearance at Customs ports.
Imports of a variety of Covid-related relief products, including Remdesivir injection and its APIs, inflammatory diagnostic (markers) kits, medical-grade oxygen, oxygen therapy-related appliances such as oxygen concentrators, cryogenic transport tanks, and Covid vaccines, have already been exempted from customs duty.
The IGST exemption announced on Monday would be conditional on state governments appointing nodal authorities to authorize any individual, relief agency, or legislative body to distribute relief materials for free.
A state government or any other agency approved in this regard may import the products for free distribution anywhere in India. Before goods are cleared by Customs, the importer must present a certificate from the said nodal authorities stating that the goods are intended for free distribution for Covid relief, according to the order.
Following importation, the importer must issue a statement containing specifics of products purchased and distributed free of charge before the Deputy or Assistant Commissioner of Customs at the port, within six months of the date of importation or other extended duration not exceeding nine months.
This declaration must be approved by the state government’s nodal authority.
“As a result of this exemption, the Covid relief supply can be imported at no expense for free delivery without having to pay the IGST” (up to the 30th June 2021). These imports would not be subject to any customs duty or IGST because they are already duty-free,” the ministry added.
Last week, the government reduced the IGST rate on personal oxygen concentrator imports from 28 percent to 12 percent for two months, until June 30.
The tax levied on the consumption of goods or the rendering of services is split evenly between the Centre and the states under the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Central GST, or CGST, and State GST, or SGST, are two types of such tax. IGST is imposed on inter-state movement of goods as well as imports, with the proceeds going to the Centre.