Centre exempts custom duty, IGST for Kerala relief material

New Delhi:The Central Government is exempting basic custom duty (BCD) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) on aid and relief material being imported or dispatched to Kerala, informed Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday.

Goyal took to Twitter to announce the same, writing, “India stands with Kerala in this hour of need. Central Government is exempting basic customs duty and IGST for the consignments of aid and relief materials being dispatched or imported from abroad for the affected people.”

Ministry of Finance’s Department of Revenue issued an exemption notification to goods imported for relief and rehabilitation of people affected by floods.

The exemptions would be applicable to the said imported 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 the State of Kerala.

The notification also makes it mandatory for the importer to obtain a certificate from the District Magistrate of the affected area in the State of 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.
The exemption from BCD and IGST for relief and rehabilitation material to be used for Kerala flood victims will be valid till December 31, 2018.

On August 18, Chief Minister of Kerala wrote a letter addressing the Finance Minister, requesting for the issuance of a general exemption notification for exempting BCD and IGST for the consignments meant for the supply of aid and relief materials to the affected people in Kerala due to devastating heavy rainfall and unprecedented floods.