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Finance Ministry exempts IGST on imports of COVID relief material: FM

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The Finance Ministry has exempted IGST on imports of specified COVID-related relief material donated from other countries upto 30th June 2021.

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“Exemption from IGST on imports of specified COVID-19 relief material donated from abroad. These imports will not attract any customs duty or IGST,” a tweet from the Ministry of Finance said.

The ministry further noted that 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.

“In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Government has issued notifications exempting basic customs duty and health cess on imports of a number of COVID-19 related relief materials, for a limited period, which include remdesivir injection, API and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD), inflammatory diagnostic (markers) kits till 31st October 2021. The medical-grade oxygen, oxygen therapy-related equipment such as oxygen concentrators, cryogenic transport tanks, etc, and COVID-19 vaccines, till 31st July 2021,” the statement from the Finance Ministry said.

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According to the ministry, 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 or received free of cost from outside India for free distribution. So the ministry has granted exemption from IGST on import of such goods received free of cost for free distribution for covid relief.

The ministry has also given directions to the state government to appoint a nodal authority in the state for the purpose of this exemption.

“The nodal authority will 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 before the clearance of goods from customs should produce a certificate from the said nodal authorities that goods are meant for free distribution for Covid relief,” The Finance Ministry as directed.

Further added that after imports, the importer should produce, to the deputy or assistant commissioner of customs at the port within a period of six months from the date of importation or not exceeding nine months, a simple statement containing details of goods imported and distributed free of cost. It should be certified by the said nodal authority of the state government.

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