The GST Authority for Advance Rulings (AAR) Karnataka Bench has recently passed an order saying hand sanitizers are not medicaments and hence are subjected to GST Levy of 18%.
In June last year, Wipro, a manufacturer of products like soaps, toiletries and bulbs, approached AAR to categorize sanitizers and hence classify the specific GST rate.
It said that the product which contained 95% ethyl alcohol and had obtained a drug license should be classified under chapter heading 3004. However, the bench held in its recent order that hand sanitizers cannot be called therapeutic agent as they do not treat a disease already prevalent in a patient. Secondly, it cannot be considered as prophylactic goods either as it is not specific to any disease but it is an alternative to soap. Further, it can not be compared to polio drops or Covaxin, thus it is subjected to 18% GST.