In order to assure speedy clearance and distribution, the government has allowed the import and export of the COVID-19 vaccines without any value limitation.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has implemented certain rules and regulations to facilitate the import/export of the vaccines through courier. This will happen at places where the Express Cargo Clearance System (ECCS) is operational.
The CBIC also said that the pandemic has posed uncommon challenges to the customs and other administrations. Also, effective clearance and distribution of vaccines would be a key requirement in mass vaccination.
"Imports of and exports of vaccines in relation to COVID-19 has been allowed without any value limitation," said the amended Courier Imports and Exports (Electronic Declaration and Processing) Amendment Regulations, 2020.
"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," said the CBIC, as reported by The New Indian Express.
The regulations also state that considering the fact that vaccines will be imported in durable containers equipped with the requisite temperature monitoring and tracking devices, the export of the durable containers, including the accessories that are imported in relation to the COVID-19 vaccines, will be given approval.
The CBIC has also stated that multiple stakeholders will be involved in the process of clearance of the vaccines. Also, efficient coordination among the stakeholders would be a necessity.
The Board also asked for the organisation of a task force, which will be headed by a Joint/Additional Commissioner of Customs rank officer. The task force will also consist of relevant stakeholders, who would help in the smooth clearance of the vaccines.