The exemption for oxygen concentrators is allowed only till July 31.
Now, expatriates in the UAE can send oxygen concentrators to their loved ones in India, even as the country is gasping for breath amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Faced with an acute shortage of oxygen, the Indian government on Friday permitted the import of oxygen concentrators for personal use, through post, courier or e-commerce portals, under the gift category.
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The exemption for oxygen concentrators is allowed only till July 31, for personal use, according to a notification of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) published on April 30.
“The import of goods, including those purchased from e-commerce portals, through post or courier, where customs clearance is sought as gifts, is prohibited except for life-saving drugs, medicine, oxygen concentrators and rakhi (but not gifts related to rakhi — an Indian festival),” the notification explained.
Oxygen concentrators were added to the list to meet the high volume of demand for oxygen in the country.
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Under Indian guidelines, gifts over INR1,000 (Dh50) face customs duty and integrated Goods and Service Tax (GST). While the government has suspended basic customs duty on several oxygen-related equipments till July, Integrated GST is required to be paid.
What is an oxygen concentrator?
An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that concentrates oxygen from ambient air. These concentrators capture and filter the air, unlike oxygen cylinders which can only store a fixed amount of oxygen.
It is in high demand in India due to massive surge of Covid-19 cases in the country at the moment.