Duty benefits for COVID fighting items import extended till June

Staff Correspondent   | Published: 18:07, Jan 08,2021


The National Board of Revenue has extended the duty benefits on import of personal protective equipment and raw materials for making such products amid fears of a second wave of the coronavirus infection.

The NBR’s customs wing on January 7 issued a statutory regulatory order extending the benefit up to June 30, 2021 to ensure availability of the protective gear on the market as the tenure of the previous benefit expired on December 31, 2020.

Under the SRO, importers and manufacturers will enjoy the benefits, including exemption from payment of customs duty, regulatory duty, supplementary duty, value-added tax, advance tax and advance income tax, on import of 17 types of products.

The revenue board first offered the duty exemption on import of finished products in March 2020 after detection of the first coronavirus case in the country.

Later, the NBR extended the benefits on import of raw materials for manufacturers of protective equipment.

According to the NBR, only industrial IRC holding pharmaceutical industry, medical instrument manufacturers and garment manufacturers would be allowed to import raw materials to produce PPEs, disinfectants and masks following the approval of the Director General of Drug Administration.

Commercial importers will also enjoy the benefits on import of a number of products.

The products include COVID-19 test kits based on immunological reactions, disinfectants in bulk, COVID-19 test kits based on polymerase chain reaction nucleic acid tests, protective garments made from plastic sheeting, plastic face shields, N95 masks, KN95 masks, protective spectacles and goggles, other breathing appliances and gas masks and COVID 19 diagnostic test instruments and apparatuses.

The raw materials include isopropyl alcohol, felt of textile materials, different types of non-woven man-made filaments and other fabrics impregnated with polyvinyl chloride, ear bands for masks and nose protector clip masks.

The DGDA will regularly determine the quantity of items to be imported by the importers and regularly monitor the quality of imported goods.

The DGDA will also submit a report containing data on the quantity of products imported under the benefit and names of the importers after the deadline of the SRO expires, according to the NBR.


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