Ease in customs clearance of medical equipment to allow faster delivery: Logistics cos

·2-min read

Mumbai, May 3 (PTI) The recent steps taken by the CBIC for customs clearance of emergency medical equipment will help logistics companies in faster delivery of the consignments amid a huge surge in imports of coronavirus-related emergency products, according to the logistics industry.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), through a notification, recently provided clarity besides further simplifying procedures for clearances of certain items.

The CBIC has also waived off basic customs duty for critically required oxygen concentrators amid an acute shortage of medical oxygen in the country.

This will will enable express and logistic companies to speed up clearances for emergency medical equipment — and help bring pandemic spread under control, DHL Express said.

DHL Express Senior Vice-President & MD R S Subramanian said, 'Due to COVID-19 and the new lockdown protocols on social distancing most of us including Customs are forced to operate with reduced manpower.' He added that at this time, there is a need to ensure that shipments for supporting COVID-19 treatment like oxygen concentrators, medicines and other equipment are cleared and delivered without delay.

The actions taken by Customs department to clarify and simplify procedures and expedite clearance of these items is a welcome support, he said.

He added, 'With these measures, oxygen concentrators entering the country, will be pre-approved and can be shipped to the destination immediately after arrival. This will help logistics companies like us to ensure faster delivery.' While basic duty has been exempted on oxygen concentrators and Remdesivir, the IGST is payable.

'If IGST is exempted for import by individuals, this will further expedite the time sensitive deliveries,' said Subramanian.

‎Express Industry Council of India CEO Vijay Kumar said, 'We are happy to note that in this crisis situation Indian Customs have proactively waived off basic customs duty for critically required oxygen concentrators to save lives.' He added that they are engaging with the logistics service providers, including express operators, to ensure seamless logistics by mitigating customs clearance.

Express delivery services, with all the constraints they have been facing on the ground since the start of the pandemic, are ensuring critically needed medicines. Equipment are moved into the country using their global network including freighters and on ground support systems, he added. PTI IAS HRS hrs