Customs duty exemption for local levels to purchase up to three ambulances

Kathmandu, November 2

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has issued a circular to all 753 local levels, directing them to implement the recently approved ‘Standards on Exemption of Customs Duty on Ambulances to be Purchased by Local Levels, 2018’.

The Council of Ministers had approved the standards on September 26 to increase access of people to ambulance service at the local levels. Any local levelwishing to purchase and operate ambulance free of customs duty shall obtain prior consent of the Ministry of Finance. “Exemption of customs duty shall be granted to metropolitan city/sub-metropolitan city for the purchase of maximum three ambulances, while municipality/rural municipality may purchase up to two ambulances. However, the concerned local level shall have to pay one per cent customs duty in import transit,” the standards read.

The government will not provide facilities to any local level for import of another ambulance as replacement until the completion five years of purchase of the emergency vehicle, except in the cases where the ambulance is not in operational state due to accident.

It requires the MoFAGA and Department of Customs to maintain records of local levels allowed to import the emergency vehicles free of customs duty.

The concerned local levels shall abide by the terms and conditions specified in the standards while operating the ambulances. “The ambulance shall be operated on the basis of decision taken by executive of the local level. Priority shall be given to the locals by charging minimum fee,” the standards state. The ambulance shall be equipped with necessary equipment.

The power to determine ambulance fair rests with the Ministry of Health and Population. “If the ambulance does not abide by the terms and conditions or is not operated for the purpose for which it was purchased, the emergency vehicle shall be confiscated and the concerned local level shall be liable to pay fine under the Financial Act,” the standards state.