The Ministry of Finance has stretched the exemption from customs duty and health cess for COVID-19 relief items until September 30. This assistance includes the COVID-19 vaccine and oxygen-related equipment. This is the second extension of the exemption since its announcement on April 24.
The previous deadline for the relief was August 31, but it has now been extended to September 30. The government stated in a notification that it is satisfied that extending the relief period is necessary for the public interest.
When the second wave of coronavirus was ravaging in India and the country was failing to cope with the country’s oxygen demand, hence duty relief was announced. In a meeting, the government decided that the import of equipment for providing oxygen to patients needed to be implemented immediately.
According to the April notification, coronavirus vaccines would also be excluded from basic customs duty. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also directed the Revenue Department that they must ensure such items are cleared through customs in a timely and convenient manner.
Medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrators, canisters, filling systems, tanks, generators, ISO containers for shipping oxygen, any other device that can generate oxygen, ventilators, high flow nasal cannula devices, and other items are exempt from duty and cess.