Centre exempts imported Covid-19 relief material from IGST till June 30 for free distribution
The Centre on Monday announced the temporary exemption of certain relief materials related to fighting the coronavirus pandemic from attracting the integrated goods and services taxes (IGST). The exemption has been provided until June 30, 2021.
The order from the Union ministry of finance noted, “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 vide Ad hoc exemption Order number 4/2021 dated 3rd May, 2021 has granted exemption from IGST on import of such goods received free of cost for free distribution for covid relief.”
Goods which have already been imported but are pending clearance as of May 3 would also be exempted from IGST, the ministry’s order noted. The ministry also said that the exemption would enable free distribution of the Covid-19 relief materials imported free of cost.
The Centre also directed the state governments to appoint a nodal officer to authorise the free distribution of Covid-19 relief material by any entity, relief agency or statutory body. Once approved, the state government could import these materials free of cost.
The importer needs to produce a certificate issued by the nodal authority before obtaining clearance from the customs and after importing, a statement containing details of the goods imported and distributed free of cost should be produced by the importer, which would also be authorised by the state nodal authority.
Earlier, the Centre had also exempted the basic customs duty and health cess on certain Covid-19 related supplies namely, Remdesivir injections or active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), Beta Cyclodextrin and Inflammatory diagnostic (markers) kits till October 31 and medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrators, cryogenic transport tank, other oxygen therapy related equipment and Covid-19 vaccines till July 31.