Imports of COVID-19 relief supplies, including vaccines, medical oxygen and Remdesivir vials, will benefit from an “ ad hoc ” conditional exemption from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) up to ‘to June 30, announced Monday the Ministry of Finance.

The government had already exempted the importation of these items from customs duties and health taxes, but the integrated GST (IGST) was levied on these imports, which will be withdrawn for two months for “relief materials donated from abroad. “.

The exemption will not be available to domestic businesses or charities that import these items if they purchase them, even if they are distributed for free in the country, senior officials said. The relevant notification clarifies that the easing relates to COVID-19 material “received free of charge for free distribution anywhere in India for COVID relief”.

Head of State Secretaries have been asked to appoint nodal officers so that “ entities wishing to import COVID relief material for free distribution can approach them for certification. ” Global donors should therefore register with the states where they wish to deliver relief supplies.

“This is in response to representations from charities, businesses and entities outside of India requesting an exemption from payment of the IGST on the import of COVID-19 relief material,” the report said. ministry in a press release.

Goods already imported but awaiting customs clearance from Monday will also be covered. Last week, the government allowed the importation of oxygen concentrators for personal use without paying tariffs, although a 28% GST was payable on these imports, which was later reduced to 12%.

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