Authorities lifts all import-export curbs on Covid vaccine

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 1

The government has allowed the import and export of Covid vaccines without any value limitation, in order to ensure speedy clearance and distribution.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has amended the regulations to facilitate the import/export of Covid vaccines through courier, at locations where the Express Cargo Clearance System (ECCS) is operational.

“Imports of and exports of vaccines in relation to Covid  has been allowed without any value limitation,” said the amended Courier Imports and Exports (Electronic Declaration and Processing) Amendment Regulations, 2020.

The CBIC said that COVID-19 had posed unprecedented challenges to Customs and other administrations the world over and efficient clearance and distribution of vaccines would be a critical requirement in the collective fight against the pandemic.

“The challenges in doing so is heightened by the fact that the vaccines need to be stored and transported under controlled temperatures and there are multiple stakeholders involved in this process. This necessitates putting in place efficient cross-border procedures for speedy evacuation of the vaccines,” it said.

Importers have been advised to indicate the unique identifier of the container and the accessories during import in the Courier Bill of Entry (CBE-V) and also at the time of re-export in the Courier Shipping Bill (CSB IV) for facilitating clearance. 

The CBIC, in a letter to field offices, has said since multiple stakeholders will be involved in the process of clearance of the vaccines, effective coordination among the stakeholders would be necessary.

It also asked for setting up of a task force, headed by a Joint/Additional Commissioner of Customs rank officer and comprising relevant stakeholders, for a coordinated approach for efficient clearance of vaccines relating to Covid.

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