Coronavirus Pandemic

India Covid-19 crisis: UAE expats can send relief material to India without tax

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on May 4, 2021

Exemption from GST on donated imports of specified Covid-19 relief material.

Now, UAE expatriates can send Covid-related relief material to India without paying any duty.

The Ministry of Finance issued a notification on May3 exempting basic customs duty, integrated goods and services tax (IGST) and/or health cess on the import of a number of relief materials till June 30.

The government at the centre said it received a number of representations from charitable organisations, corporate entities, and other associations and entities outside India seeking exemption from IGST on the import of Covid-19 relief material donated or received free of cost from outside India for free distribution. The relief items are already exempted from customs duty. This exemption shall apply till June 2021. It would also cover goods already imported, but not yet cleared, on the date of its issuance of exemption, starting May 3.

The exemption is subject to several conditions that need to be taken care of by the state government. Earlier, the government had also exempted the basic customs duty and health cess on certain Covid-19 related supplies, namely Remdesivir injections or active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), Beta Cyclodextrin and inflammatory diagnostic (markers) kits till October 31 and medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrators, cryogenic transport tanks, other oxygen therapy-related equipment and Covid-19 vaccines till July 31.

The new ruling is beneficial for local community groups, businesses, and individual Indian expatriates who would like to send relief supplies to India.

Manoj Munishwar, a long-time resident of Abu Dhabi and oil and gas consultant whose Triveni group sent 100 oxygen cylinders to India’s Nagpur on Tuesday, May 4, as Covid relief supplies said, “This exemption has hugely benefitted our group. It has reduced paperwork and we are hoping those in need will receive the oxygen.”


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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