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Govt waives off customs duty on PPE, surgical masks, COVID-19 test kits

The announcement was made on April 9 that the exemption has been extended till September 30 and will also apply for the imports of materials that are used for the manufacture of these items.

Apr 10, 2020 12:51 IST
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The customs duty has been waived off on the imports of COVID-19 test kits, ventilators, face to face masks and surgical masks and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) by the government.

The announcement was made on April 9 that the exemption has been extended till September 30 and will also apply for the imports of materials that are used for the manufacture of these items.

The decision came from the Central government given the immediate requirement of these types of equipment in the context of COVID-19 situation.

Objective:

The decision to waive off the custom duty on the imports of medical equipment is taken because of the short supply of protection gears required by the health workers to combat COVID-19. About 80% of the medical devices are imported in India.

Key Highlights:

•  Health cess on medical equipment in India is 5% over and above the customs duty of 7.5%.

•  Even if the decision might go directly against the motive of Make in India that states the medical devices to be made locally, the govt has taken the required steps against COVID-19.

•  Depending on the product, the total duty varies between 11% and 22%.

•  The exemption of integrated GST on the imported goods had also been proposed by the ministries but it must be made officially valid by the GST council.

About Custom Duty:

Customs duty is a tax applicable to the exports and imports of goods in India. The value of the items is measured by the customs authorities in the context of tax applicable to such items.

The tax on the import and export of items in India is collected by the Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs.

Customs is an authority or agency in a country. It is responsible for collecting tariffs and controlling the flow of goods, in and out of the country.

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