Union Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur on May 9, 2021, said, “Full exemption from Customs duties, including IGST, is already available to all COVID relief material imported by Indian Red Cross for free distribution in the country.”
From May 3, 2021, full exemption from all duties has been given to Remdesivir API, Remdesivir injections, and a chemical for the manufacture of this drug.
Also to medical oxygen, transportation and storage of Oxygen, equipment used for providing oxygen therapy to COVID patients such as ventilators, inflammatory diagnostic kits, oxygen concentrators, non-invasive oxygen masks, and reagents for COVID testing and COVID vaccines.
This exemption applies to all stated goods when imported, free of cost for free circulation in the country by any entity, state government, relief agency, or independent body based on a certificate issued by a State government.
To increase the availability of these items, the government has given full exemption from basic customs duty and health cess to their commercial imports. Also, 5% GST on vaccines, 12% on COVID drugs, oxygen concentrators is applicable to domestic supplies & commercial import of items.
The whole list of items for COVID relief exempted from Custom Duty/ Health Cess dated 3, May 2021, are as under:
1. Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients
2. Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD) used in the manufacture of Remdesivir
3. Injection Remdesivir
4. Oxygen concentrator including flow meter, connectors, regulator and tubings.
5. Medical Oxygen
6. Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) and Vacuum Pressure Swing Absorption (VPSA) oxygen plants
7. Cryogenic oxygen Air Separation Units (ASUS) producing liquid/gaseous oxygen
8. Oxygen canister.
9. Oxygen filling systems
10. Oxygen storage tanks
11. Oxygen generator
12. ISO containers for Shipping Oxygen
13. Cryogenic road transport tanks for Oxygen
14. Oxygen cylinders including cryogenic cylinders and tanks
15. Parts of goods used in the manufacture of equipment related to the production, transportation, storage or distribution of Oxygen, subject to the condition that the importer follows the procedure set out in the Customs (Import of Goods at Concessional Rate of Duty) Rules, 2017
16. Any other device from which oxygen can be generated
17. Ventilators, including ventilator with compressors, all accessories and tubings, humidifiers, viral filters (should be able to function as high flow device and come with the nasal cannula).
18. High flow nasal cannula device with all attachments; nasal cannula for use with the device.
19. Helmets for use with non-invasive ventilation.
20. Non-invasive ventilation nasal masks for ICU ventilators.
21. Non-invasive ventilation oronasal masks for ICU ventilators.
22. COVID-19 vaccines
23. Inflammatory Diagnostic (marker) kits, namely- IL6, D-Dimer, CRP (C Reactive Protein), LDH (Lactate De-Hydrogenase), Ferritin, Pro Calcitonin (PCT) and blood gas reagents.