Dry Fruit GST Rate – Clarification By GST Council !

Fresh Nuts like Almond, Walnut, Hazelnut etc. are exempt from GST Levy, while dried nuts attract GST @ 5% or 12%.  Clarifications were sought regarding the distinction between fresh & dried dry-fruits.   The issue was discussed in 45th GST Council Meeting held on 17th September 2017 and its recommendations are circulated by CBIC Ciruclar No. 163 / 19 /2021 -GST.  The clarification is in following words:

“The general Explanatory Notes to chapter 08 mentions that this chapter covers fruit, nuts intended for human consumption. They may be fresh (including chilled), frozen (whether or not previously cooked by steaming or boiling in water or containing added sweetening matter) or dried (including dehydrated, evaporated or freeze-dried).Thus, HS chapter differentiates between fresh, frozen and dried fruits and nuts. Fresh fruit and nuts would thus cover fruit and nuts which are meant to be supplied in the state as plucked. They continue to be fresh even if chilled. However, fruit and nuts do not qualify as fresh, once frozen (cooked or otherwise), or intentionally dried to dehydrate including through sun drying, evaporation or freezing, for supply as dried fruits or nuts. It may be noted that in terms of note 3 to Chapter 8, dried fruits, even if partially re-hydrated, or subject to preservation say by moderate heat treatment, retain the character of dried fruits or dried.”

The dry-fruits are seldom sold in the condition, in which they are plucked / harvested.  A little bit drying is always done to improve shelf life and to make them marketable.  So, as per this clarification, none of the dry fruits sold in the market is eligible for exemption.

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