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The following goods imported by Privileged Persons, Organizations, Authorities and Foreigners are exempt from IGST, keeping in mind various multilateral and bilateral commitments.

Goods imported by Diplomatic missions in India and their families, their personal and household effects, etc are exempted from import duties.

All the equipments and consumable samples imported into India, by the Inspection Team of the Organization of Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, subject to the condition, inter alia, that such equipments shall be exported within six months of their import.

Exemption to Pedagogic materials imported by educational institutions, etc. in pursuance of the Customs Convention on the temporary importation of pedagogic material, subject to the condition that the goods are re-exported within 6 months from the date of importation.

Exemption to temporary import of Scientific equipments etc. by non-profit making scientific and educational institutions in pursuance of the Customs Convention on the temporary importation of scientific equipment, subject to the condition that the goods are re-exported within 6 months from the date of importation.

Exemption to specified goods imported for display or use at specified event such as meetings, exhibition, fairs or similar show or display, etc. which is being held in public interest and is sponsored or approved by the Government of subject to the condition that the goods are imported under ATA Carnet for temporary admission and the said goods are re-exported within a period of 6 months from the date of importation.

Exemption to:

  • Foodstuffs, medicines, medical stores of perishable nature, clothing and blankets, imported by a charitable organization as free gift to it from abroad and meant for free distribution to the poor and the needy;
  • Goods imported by the Red Cross Society for purposes of relief to distressed persons;
  • Drugs, medicines and medical equipments required for the treatment of the victims of the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster.
  • Goods imported by the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere Incorporated (CARE) under the Agreement between the President of India and CARE. Supplies and equipments imported shall be re exported when no longer required for the purposes and cannot be sold to a third party;
  • Goods imported into India for relief and rehabilitation purposes, in accordance with the terms of any agreement in force between the Government of India and any foreign Government. These goods cannot be sold or otherwise disposed of in India except with the prior approval or subject to conditions as may be prescribed by the Government of India.
  • Articles of food and edible material supplied as free gifts to the Government of India by the agencies approved by the UNO or the EEC.
  • Articles donated to the Government of India for use of defence personnel or donated to the National Defence Fund and dispatched by the Indian Mission in the country where they were donated;
  • Goods gifted or supplied free of cost under a bilateral agreement between the Government of India and a Foreign Government.

Exemption to:

  1. Samples in accordance with the International Convention to facilitate the importation of Commercial Samples and Advertising material drawn up at Geneva and dated the 7th day of November, 1952;
  2. Price lists supplied free of charge in accordance with the Convention mentioned above;
  3. Commercial samples upto `3 lakh in value in case of gem and jewellery industry and `1 lakh in case of any other industry, and not exceeding 50 units in number in a year, imported as personal baggage by bona fide commercial travellers or businessmen or imported by post or air;
  4. Prototypes of engineering goods imported as samples for executing or for use in connection with securing export orders subject to mutilation / re-export;
  5. Bonafide commercial samples and prototypes of value upto `10,000 and supplied free of charge.
    • Exemption to containers of durable nature subject to reexport within 6 months from the date of their importation.
    • Exemption to:
  • Paper money;
  • Wool, woollen fabrics and woollen apparels received as gifts by the Indian Red Cross.

Exemption to:

  1. Fuel in the tanks of the aircrafts of an Indian Airline or of the Indian Air Force subject to the condition, inter alia, that the quantity of the said fuel is equal to the quantity of the same type of fuel which was taken out of India in the tanks of the aircrafts of the same Indian Airline or of the Indian Air Force, and on which the duty of Customs, or Central Excise had been paid; and the rate of duty of customs (including the additional duty leviable under the said section 3) or the rate of duty of Central Excise, as the case may be, leviable on such fuel is the same at the time of the arrivals and departures of such aircrafts;
  2. Lubricating oil, imported in the engines of any aircraft registered in India or of any aircraft of the Indian Air Force;
  3. Specified goods imported by the United Arab Airlines which will be carried on individual aircraft for use in hangars and which are flown back on the same aircraft;
  4. Aircraft equipment, engines and spare parts imported by the Air India International or the Indian Airlines having been borrowed by the aforesaid airlines for fitment to their aircraft from foreign airlines outside India or from the foreign manufacturers of the prime equipment subject to the condition, that the said goods are being imported for fitment and re-export; and the said goods are re-exported within one month from the date of their importation into India.
    • Exemption to printed ticket stocks, airway bills, any printed material which bears the insignia of the importing airline printed thereon including baggage tags, publicity material for distribution free of charge when imported into India by a designated airline.
    • Exemption to specified goods, when imported into India for display or use at any specified event specified subject to the condition, inter alia, that the specified event is being held in public interest and is sponsored or approved by the Government of India or the India Trade Promotion Organization
    • Exemption to goods imported by the Vice President of India on appointment or during his tenure of office:
  1. Articles for personal use;
  2. Food, drink, tobacco for consumption of Vice President’s household
  3. Articles for furnishing;
  4. Motor cars for Vice-President’s use
    • Exemption to foodstuffs and provisions (excluding fruit products, alcohol and tobacco) when imported into India by a person residing in India, not being a citizen of India subject to the condition, inter alia, that the CIF value of such goods imported in a year does not exceed `1 lakh.
    • Exemption to imports relating to defence and internal security forces.

Exemption to:

  1. Articles of foreign origin for repairs and return;
  2. Theatrical equipment including costumes for use by a foreign theatrical company or dancing troupe and reexported thereafter;
  3. Photographic, filming, sound-recording and radio equipments, raw films, video tapes and sound recording tapes imported in public interest and has been sponsored by the Government of India and subject to certification by the Ministry of I&B and subsequent re-export;
  4. Mountaineering equipments, materials, clothing, foodstuffs and provisions (excluding alcoholic drinks, cigarettes and tobacco), medical stores, imported by a mountaineering expedition and subject to re-export;

Exemption to research equipments imported by:

  1. Public funded research institutions or a university or an Indian Institute of Technology or Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore or Regional Engineering College, other than a hospital;
  2. Research institutions, other than a hospital;
  3. Departments and laboratories of the Central Government and State Government, other than a hospital;
  4. Regional Cancer Center (Cancer Institute), subject to, inter alia, registration with the DSIR.
    • Exemption to goods imported for display or use at specified event [fair, exhibition] subject to re-export within 6 months from the date of clearance of the imported goods.

Exemption to:

  • Articles of gift received from any foreign government by Union or State Ministers and specified public servants and imported as baggage;
  • Articles of gift imported into India by a foreign dignitary, visiting India for any official purposes, as part of his baggage and to be gifted to Union or State Ministers and specified public servants.

Exemption to:

Challenge Cups and Trophies awarded to an Indian team in connection with its participation in a tournament outside India and brought by it into India for being kept with an Official Sports Association;

Medals and trophies awarded to members of Indian teams for their participation in international tournaments or competitions outside India;

Prizes won by any member of an Indian Team if the team has participated in any international tournament or competition in relation to any sport or game, with the approval of the Government of India in the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports;

Trophy when imported into India by the National Sports Federation recognized by the Central Government or any Sports Body for being awarded to the winning team in the international tournament including bilateral tournament and World Cup event to be held in India.

Exemption to specified goods on which a manufacturing process was undertaken in India and which were exported out of India for carrying out further specified manufacturing process when re-imported into India after completion of the said processes, from the customs duty leviable on the value of goods which were exported i.e. customs duty is leviable on the value of the fair cost of the said processes carried out abroad (whether such cost is actually incurred or not) and insurance and freight, both ways.

Exemption to Challenge cups and trophies:

  • Which have been won by any unit of the Defence Forces in India or by a particular member or members of such unit in a competition; or
  • Which are being re-imported and which before being exported has been won by any such unit or member or members of a unit in a competition; or
  • Which have been sent by donors resident abroad for presentation to or competition among such units or members of such units.
    • Exemption to articles re-imported by or along with a unit of the Army, the Navy or the Air force or a Central Para Military Force on the occasion of its return to India after a tour of service abroad subject to satisfaction of the Commissioner of Customs that these articles were exported by or along with such unit on the occasion of its departure from India on such tour.
    • Goods not produced or manufactured in India, which are private personal property and which prior to their import into India have been exported therefrom and re-imported within three years from the date of export.

Exemption to:

  • Gods manufactured in India and parts of such goods whether of Indian or foreign manufacture and reimported into India for repairs or for reconditioning.
  • Gods manufactured in India and re-imported for reprocessing or refining or remaking. Subject to the condition, inter alia, that goods are reimported within one / three years from the date of export [10 years in the case of Nepal and Bhutan]; that goods are re-exported within 6 months of re-import, etc.
  • Exemption to goods [on their re-import] not produced or manufactured in India and on which the duty of customs leviable has been paid at the time of their importation into IGST Exemptions/Concessions under GST [As per discussions in the GST Council Meeting held on 18th/19th May, 2017] India and which were exported out of India for the execution of a contract approved by the Reserve Bank of India in connection with any commercial and industrial (including constructional) activities. In the case of goods on which any alterations, renovations, additions or repairs have been executed subsequent to their export, IGST will be payable on the value equal to the cost of such alterations, renovations, additions or repairs while the goods were abroad.

Exemption to:

  • Re-import of goods exported under claim of any export scheme
  • Re-import of goods sent abroad for repairs etc.
  • Re-import of cut and polished precious and semiprecious stones sent abroad for some treatment
  • Import of parts components of aircrafts replaced or removed during the course of maintenance in a SEZ.

Exemption to specified goods, when imported into India for carrying out repairs, reconditioning, reengineering, testing, calibration or maintenance (including service), subject to the condition, inter alia, that

  • The repairs, reconditioning, reengineering, testing, calibration or maintenance (including service) as the case may be, is undertaken in accordance with the provisions of section 65 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), and
  • The goods repaired, reconditioned, reengineered, tested, calibrated or maintained (including service) as the case may be, are exported and are not cleared outside the Unit.

Exemption to:

​​​​​​​1. Works of art including statuary and pictures intended for public exhibition in a museum or art gallery

2. Works of art namely memorials of a public character intended to be put up in a public place including, materials used or to be used in their construction, whether worked or not

3. Antiques intended for public exhibition in a public museum or national institution;

  • Exemption to re-import of unclaimed postal articles which were originally posted in India and re-imported as unclaimed, refused or redirected.
  • Exemption to engines and parts of aircraft, when reimported into India after having been exported, from the customs duty leviable on the value of goods which were exported [customs duty is leviable on the cost of repair], which includes the charges paid for the materials as well as for labour, insurance and freight) in the following cases:-
    • Engines and certain specified parts which fail abroad and are re-imported.
    • Engines or certain specified parts sent abroad as a standby for replacement of a defective one and subsequently brought back to India in the same condition without being installed on an aircraft.
    • Engines and certain specified parts lent by an Indian company to a foreign Company.
    • Exemption to catering cabin equipments and food and drink on re-importation by the aircrafts of the Indian Airlines Corporation from foreign flights subject to the condition that the goods were not taken on board at any foreign port or place.

Exemption to catering cabin equipments and food and drink on re-importation by the aircrafts of the Indian Airlines


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Category GST, Other Articles by - CS CHARU VINAYAK 



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