GOA AAR | Alcohol-based hand sanitizers to be taxed @18 % under GST; Classification of goods as essential commodity cannot be a criteria for exemption from GST

Goa Advance Authority Ruling: A Division Bench of J.K. Meena and Sarita S. Gadgil (Members), while addressing an application held that,

“mere classification of goods as essential commodity will not bring it under the category of exempted goods from GST.”

Applicant is a registered partnership firm manufacturing Hand Sanitizers.

Officer concerned commented that,

Hand sanitizers are primarily used for disinfecting/ sanitizing hands.

Further he opines that following factors may be considered for classifying the said product:

  • Curative effect of the product (therapeutic use)
  • Preventive effect of the product (prophylactic use)
  • Period of usage i.e., to be used for limited period or regularly,
  • Product contains curative/preventive ingredients
  • Trade parlance, i.e., how it is known in the market.

Applicant in the present application has asked for Advance ruling on the issue as to classification of the Goods namely “Hand Sanitizer” and rate of GST to be applied.

Opinion was also sought on whether Hand Sanitizers supplied by them are classifiable as essential commodity and to be exempt from GST.

In Applicant’s opinion, Hand Sanitizers are covered under HSN 30049087 and to be taxed @ 12% under GST.


Hand Sanitizers manufactured by the applicant are of the category of Alcohol based hand sanitizers and are classifiable under heading 3808 of HSN to which rate of GST applicable is 18%.

Merely classifying any goods as essential commodity will not be the criteria for exempting such Goods from GST.

In view of the above ruling sought by applicant was answered. [Springfields (India) Distilleries, In Re., GOA/GAAR/1 of 2020-21, decided on 17-06-2020]


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