Understanding GST Implications on Metal Scrap Imports

GST or Goods & Services Tax is a comprehensive indirect tax imposed on the goods & services supply in India. It has replaced various indirect taxes like VAT, excise duty, and service tax. The implementation of GST has had a significant impact on various industries, and the metal scrap import sector is no exception. In this blog, we will delve into the implications of GST on metal scrap imports in India.

Overview of Metal Scrap Imports:

Metal scrap plays a crucial role in the manufacturing sector, serving as a valuable raw material for industries like steel, aluminium, and copper. India, being a growing economy with a thriving manufacturing sector, relies on imports to meet its metal scrap requirements. The GST regime has streamlined the taxation structure, but it's essential to understand how it affects the metal scrap import business.

GST Rates on Metal Scrap:

Under GST, goods & services are categorised into different tax slabs, mainly 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. The applicable GST rate on metal scrap depends on the specific type of metal. For instance, ferrous scrap attracts a GST rate of 12%, while non-ferrous scraps like aluminium and copper are taxed at 18%.

Input Tax Credit (ITC):

One of the major advantages of GST for businesses is the availability of Input Tax Credit. This allows businesses to claim credit for the GST paid on inputs, including imported metal scrap. The seamless flow of ITC helps in reducing the overall tax liability and promotes a more efficient tax system. Importers of metal scrap can utilise the ITC mechanism to offset the GST paid on their purchases against their output tax liability.

Customs Duty and GST:

It's crucial to distinguish between customs duty and GST when dealing with metal scrap imports. Customs duty is a separate levy imposed by the government on imported goods, while GST is a domestic tax on the supply of goods and services. Metal scrap importers need to factor in both customs duty and GST when calculating the overall cost of imports. The customs duty is not eligible for ITC, and businesses should carefully analyse the total landed cost to ensure accurate pricing strategies.

Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM):

Under the reverse charge mechanism, the accountability to pay GST transfers from the supplier to the recipient. In the context of metal scrap imports, if the supplier is located outside India or is an unregistered dealer, the recipient of the imported metal scrap becomes liable to pay GST under the reverse charge mechanism. Importers need to be aware of the specific provisions related to RCM to ensure compliance with GST regulations.

Compliance and Documentation:

Compliance with GST regulations is essential for businesses engaged in metal scrap imports. Maintaining correct records and documentation is essential to show compliance during audits or assessments. Importers should ensure that they have the necessary documentation, including invoices, customs declarations, and evidence of payment of GST, to avoid any legal complications.

Challenges and Considerations:

While GST has brought about simplification and uniformity in the taxation system, metal scrap importers face certain challenges. These challenges include the complexity of GST provisions, changes in rates, and the need for a robust IT infrastructure to handle compliance requirements. Importers should stay informed about any amendments to GST laws and seek professional advice to navigate these challenges effectively.


The implementation of GST has undoubtedly impacted the metal scrap import business in India. Understanding the GST rates, input tax credit mechanism, reverse charge mechanism, and compliance requirements is crucial for importers to operate efficiently and stay compliant with the tax regulations. As the government continues to refine the GST framework, businesses involved in metal scrap imports should stay vigilant and adapt to any variations in the regulatory landscape.

Diksha Khiatani

A writer by day and a reader at night. Emerging from an Engineering background, Diksha has completed her M. Tech in Computer Science field. Being passionate about writing, she started her career as a Writer. She finds it interesting and always grabs time to research and write about Environmental laws and compliances. With extensive knowledge on content writing, she has been delivering high-quality write-ups. Besides, you will often find her with a novel and a cuppa!

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