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Covid-19: Alcohol-based hand sanitizers to attract 18% GST, rules AAR

Covid-19: Alcohol-based hand sanitizers to attract 18% GST, rules AAR

Amid the ongoing debate over goods and services tax (GST) rate on hand sanitizers, the Goa bench of the GST Authority of Advance Ruling (AAR) has held that the alcohol-based hygiene product will attract 18 per cent GST. It added that its classification as an essential commodity cannot be a criteria for exemption from GST.

Springfields (India) Distilleries had moved Goa AAR over classification of the hand sanitizer and the applicable rate of GST. It also sought an opinion on whether it will be exempt from GST as the consumer affairs ministry has classified hand sanitizers as essential commodity.


The applicant was of the view that hand sanitizers are covered under the medicament category, and should be taxed at 12 per cent under GST. However, the AAR bench ruled that, “Hand sanitizers manufactured by the applicant are of the category of alcohol-based sanitizers and are classifiable under heading 3808 of the Harmonised System of Nomenclature (HSN) to which the rate of GST applicable is 18 per cent.” Regarding the second query, the AAR said that there is a separate notification under GST law for exempted goods and services.

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