Govt withdraws duty on test kits amid COVID-19 spread

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DHAKA, March 22, 2020 (BSS) – The government has withdrawn all sorts of
duties on import of test kits and other necessary materials and equipments in
a bid to tackle the global outbreak of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) under the Ministry of Finance issued
an SRO in this regard today which stated that all sorts of customs duty,
regulatory duty, supplementary duty, VAT, Advance Tax and Advance Income Tax
have been withdrawn on a number of products.

These are – Isopropyl Alcohol, COVID-19 test kits based on immunological
reactions, COVID-19 test kits based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
nucleic acid test, COVID-19 diagnostic test instruments and apparatus,
disinfectants in bulk (excl for dairy, poultry, and agricultural in bulk), 3-
ply/3-layer surgical mask, protective garments made from plastic sheeting,
plastic face shields (covering more than the eye area), protective garments
for surgical/medical use, full body woven suit impregnated with plastics,
medical protective gear and protective spectacles and goggles.

The SRO said that these facilities would remain effective on import of
certain quantities approved by the Directorate General of Drug Administration
while the Administration would also ensure whether the imported products are
of due standard or not and thus conduct regular monitoring.

This SRO will come into immediate effect, under which the given facilities
would remain effective till June 30 this year.

Talking to BSS, NBR member (customs policy) Syed Golam Kibria said that
duty exemptions on import of such necessary testing kits and other equipments
have been given in a bid to check the outbreak of novel Coronavirus in the
country.

He also hoped that due to duty exemptions, the concerned companies would
now be able to manufacture necessary protective items for checking
Coronavirus.