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The consumer demand for face masks and hand sanitizers has risen during the year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These products are now essential commodities necessary for social distancing and maintaining good hygiene. Every consumer must be aware of its pricing and MRP to avoid being overcharged.

Rate of GST on hand sanitizers has for quite some time been debated. But several advance rulings and a letter from the Director General of GST Intelligence has maintained a particular HSN code for its classification. As per the authorities, GST on hand sanitizers, being alcohol-based, attract 18% under the HSN TH 3808 and not TH 3004 (Medicament). A suitable clarification by CBIC should resolve the issue.

Further, the Ministry of Finance has also recently clarified that rates of GST on masks and GST on hand sanitizers will not be altered or reduced. It is because, any reduction of rate of GST on hand sanitizers from 18% will lead to an inverted tax structure, since the inputs used also attract 18% GST rate.

Here, the GST rates form an important component of the prices.

List of HSN Codes and GST Rates for Common Household Hygiene

Item

Description

HSN Code

GST Rate

Cotton face masks 

Woven fabrics of cotton; HSN code varies depending upon the extent of cotton used and weight.

5208 to 5212

5%

Face masks other than cotton

Other breathing appliances and gas masks, excluding protective masks having neither mechanical parts nor replaceable filters.

9020

12%

Hand wash

Organic surface-active products and preparations for washing the skin, in the form of liquid or cream. It should have been put up for retail sale, whether or not containing soap, paper, wadding, felt and nonwovens, impregnated, coated or covered with soap or detergent.

3401

18%

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer

Insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, herbicides, anti-sprouting products and plant-growth regulators, disinfectants and similar products (hand sanitizers fall under the category of disinfectants)

3808

18%

Gloves

Articles of apparel and clothing accessories (including gloves, mittens and mitts), for all purposes, of vulcanised rubber other than hard rubber (other than surgical gloves).

4015

18%

Disinfectants

Organic surface-active agents (other than soap); surface-active preparations, washing preparations (including auxiliary washing preparations) and cleaning preparations, whether or not containing soap, other than those of heading 3401.

3402

18%

Tissue paper or napkins

Cellulose handkerchiefs, cleansing tissues, towels, napkins, etc.

4818

18%

List of HSN Codes and GST Rates for Additional Products at Offices and Factories

Business establishments are also providing their employees at the office with face masks and hand sanitizers. Apart from the items used as per the above list, there can be more medical gears required for workers at the factory and hospital, as follows:

 

Item

Description

HSN Code

GST Rate

Face shields & PPE

Plastic-based protective garments and sheets.

3926

18%

Hazardous waste disposal bins

Closures made of plastic for disposal of hazardous waste.

3923

18%

Protective spectacles

Spectacles, corrective (other than goggles for correcting vision)

9004

12%

COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Kits

Drugs or medicines including their salts and esters and diagnostic test kits.

30

5%

Temperature check equipment

Infrared thermometers, pyrometers, barometers, psychrometers and hygrometers.

9025

18%

Ventilator

Artificial respiration or other therapeutic respiration apparatus and medical grade oxygen used in oxygen cylinders.

9019

12%

 

For more information about the HSN codes and GST rates, check out ClearTax’s HSN Code Finder.