India Covid crisis: Medical supplies that are exempt from customs duty
Covid vaccines also exempt from duty with immediate effect for three months.
The import of medical supplies necessary in India’s fight against a recent surge in Covid cases have been granted full exemptions from customs duty.
In a meeting on Saturday chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to augment the availability of medical-grade oxygen, 16 oxygen and oxygen-related equipment have been declared exempt from basic customs duty and health cess for three months with immediate effect.
A Finance Ministry release said that the decision will boost the availability of these items as well as make them cheaper.
The Prime Minister stressed the need for all ministries and departments to work in synergy to increase the availability of oxygen and medical supplies.
The 16 items exempt from duty are:
•Oxygen concentrator along with flow meter, regulator, connectors and tubing
•Vacuum Pressure Swing Absorption (VPSA) and Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) oxygen plants
•Cryogenic Oxygen Air Separation Units (ASUs) producing liquid/ gaseous oxygen
•Oxygen canisters and oxygen filling systems
•Oxygen storage tanks and oxygen cylinders including cryogenic cylinders and tanks
•ISO containers for shipping oxygen
•Cryogenic road transport tanks for oxygen
•Parts to be used for the manufacture of equipment for production, transportation, distribution, or storage of oxygen
•Any other device from which oxygen can be generated
•Ventilators (capable of functioning as high-flow devices) with nasal canula and compressors including all accessories and tubing
•Humidifiers and viral filters
•High flow nasal canula devices with all attachments
•Helmets for use with non-invasive ventilation
•Non-invasive ventilation oronasal masks for ICU ventilators and non-invasive ventilation nasal masks for ICU ventilators
>> It was also decided that basic customs duty on the import of Covid vaccines be exempted as well with immediate effect for three months.
The Department of Revenue has nominated Gaurav Masaldan, Joint Secretary, Customs, as the nodal officer for issues related to customs clearance for oxygen-related items to ensure the seamless and quick customs clearance of the equipment.
>> . Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients were also recently exempted from basic customs duty and it was suggested to the Prime Minister that the import of equipment related to providing oxygen to patients needs to be expedited.
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