Due to requests from charitable organisations, corporate entities, and other associations/ entities, the finance ministry has exempted IGST on the import of COVID-19 relief material received for distribution in the country free of cost.
This exemption shall apply till June 30, 2021. It would also cover goods already imported but lying uncleared on the date of its issuance of exemption.
The government is giving a window of six months or not more than nine months for importers who have already imported to produce that the imported material are for free imports. "After imports, the importer shall produce, to the Deputy or Assistant Commissioner of Customs at the port within a period of six months from the date of importation or within such extended period not exceeding nine months, a simple statement containing details of goods imported and distributed free of cost. This statement shall be certified by the said nodal authority of the state government."
The government has already exempted customs duty on relief material donated/received free of cost from outside India for free distribution already.
The central government has issued notifications on exempting basic customs duty and/or health cess on imports of a number of COVID-19 related relief materials, for a limited period. In the case of Remdesivir injection/ API and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD), Inflammatory diagnostic (markers) kits, the exemption is until October 31, 2021. However, medical grade oxygen, oxygen therapy-related equipment such as oxygen concentrators, cryogenic transport tanks, etc, and COVID-19 vaccines till July 31, 2021.
The central government has issued a list of conditions for the GST exemption which include:
The state government shall appoint a nodal authority in the state for the purpose of this exemption.
The nodal authority so appointed shall 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, authorised 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 meant for free distribution for Covid relief.