The Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) has exempted Value Added Tax Import on all medical oxygen tanks that are donated to the State. According to a NamRA statement, the ruling was taken in response to a governmental call for the private sector to assist in the shortage of medical oxygen tanks due to the escalating number
of Covid cases. “We believe that the move will encourage institutions, including the private sector to donate the same product to the nation to save the lives of those who are in desperate need of oxygen in various hospitals of the country,” read the statement from NamRA spokesperson Melanie Tjijenda. Goods donated to the State are
specified as exempted for the purpose of Section 13 under Schedule V of the Value Added Tax Act. NamRA recently approved the request for exemption after a local company stated its intention to donate oxygen tanks to the health ministry.
The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), in conjunction with Namibia’s private sector, last week handed over the first 21-tonne tank of oxygen to the government via the health ministry. The donation formed part of the private sector’s emergency response to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic currently ravaging the country with a high number of cases and increasing fatalities. “The private sector, led by the NCCI, launched an immediate response to tackling the current shortage of medical oxygen to mitigate and minimise the effects of the pandemic in the country to restore the supply of critical oxygen for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in our state and public health facilities,” said NCCI president Bisey /Uirab in a statement.
/Uirab added that through an assessment, spearheaded by the NCCI and supported by the health and finance ministries, the most urgent need that was identified to fight the pandemic is the supply of bulk oxygen into Namibia.
He noted that the first 21-tonne consignment load was sourced from Kryogas and arrived on Thursday morning. The initial tonnage of liquid oxygen will be used to fill up the bulk storage tank at the Katatura State Hospital, with the remaining amount being distributed to other hospitals in critically short supply. Said /Uirab: “The NCCI continues to mobilise support from within the Namibian private sector to ensure we are in a position to offset the shortfall through sponsorship and donations towards the costs and logistics surrounding critical oxygen supply into our country. We are informed that as it stands, the current medical oxygen shortfall in Namibia is between 150 and 180 tonnes per month. This is over and above the capacity being provided by the current supplier”.