Kerala floods relief material exempted from customs duty

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Relief materials sent by NRIs and international agencies to the Kerala flood victims are exempt from customs duty and GST, Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced Monday.

As per the notification of Customs dated July 13, 1994, amended vide notification dated June 30, 2017, the items such as foodstuffs, medicines, medical stores of perishable nature, clothing and blankets imported for the relief and rehabilitation of people affected by flood have been exempted from whole of customs duty and integrated tax.

The above exemption can be claimed by any charitable organisation in compliance with the conditions mentioned in the notification.

The exemptions would be applicable to the said goods being sent to the Central Government, the Government of Kerala, or as the case may be, the relief agencies of both the governments. The exemption will also extend to relief agencies duly approved by the Central Government or the Government of Kerala for the purpose.

To get benefits of the exemption, the importer has to certify on the relevant clearance documents that the goods are intended to be donated, free of cost, for the relief and rehabilitation of the people affected by the floods in Kerala.

The notification also makes it mandatory for the importer to obtain a certificate from the District Magistrate of the affected area in Kerala that the said goods have been donated for use for the aforesaid purpose. The certificate is required to be produced before the Deputy Commissioner or the Assistant Commissioner of Customs, within six months from the date of importation of the said good or an extended period as allowed by the officials.

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The exemption from BCD and IGST for relief and rehabilitation material to be used for Kerala flood victims will be valid until December 31, 2018.

On August 18, Pinarai Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala wrote a letter addressing the Finance Minister, requesting for the issuance of a general exemption notification for the consignments meant for the supply of aid and relief materials to the affected people in Kerala.

Published on 20 August 2018

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