GST on Banned Wildlife Products Shocked Many

In the new General Service Tax (GST) regime, there has been a tax imposed on the products that are actually banned under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. It has shocked many environmentalists and experts in wildlife studies.

Category goods under Harmonized System Nomenclature (HSN: 0507) in GST regime, where 5% GST will be charged refers to ivory, tortoiseshell, whalebone and hair, horns, powder and waste of these products, coral, civet and musk and other wildlife animal products.

There is a chance that it may justify the trade by paying the taxes. However, legally it will not by itself override the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.

Import of wild animals (including their parts and products) as defined in the Act (as amended from time to time) is prohibited.

Imports will be subject to the provisions of Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to which several countries are signatories.

Wildlife conservationists have demanded that since these products are banned they should be completely withdrawn from the GST Schedule.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, also known as the Harmonized System (HS) of tariff nomenclature is an internationally standardized system of names and numbers to classify traded products. It came into effect in 1988 and has since been developed and maintained by the World Customs Organization (WCO) (formerly the Customs Co-operation Council), an independent intergovernmental organization based in Brussels, Belgium, with over 200 member countries.