Circular No. 117/36/2019-GST
F. No. 354/136/2019-TRU
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
(Tax research Unit)
Room No. 146, North Block,
New Delhi, the 11th October, 2019
The Principal Chief Commissioners/ Chief Commissioners/ Principal Commissioners/ Commissioner of Central Tax (All) / The Principal Director Generals/ Director Generals (All)
Madam / Sir,
Subject: Clarification on applicability of GST exemption to the DG Shipping approved maritime courses conducted by Maritime Training Institutes of India – reg.
A representation has been received regarding applicability of GST exemption to the Directorate General of Shipping approved maritime courses conducted by the Maritime Training Institutes of India. The same has been examined and following is clarified.
2. Under GST Law, vide Sl. No. 66 of the notification No. 12/2017- Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, services provided by educational institutions to its students, faculty and staff are exempt from levy of GST. In the above notification, “educational institution” has been defined to mean an institution providing services by way of education as a part of a curriculum for obtaining a qualification recognised by any law for the time being in force.
3. GST exemption on services supplied by an educational institution would be available, if it fulfils the criteria that the education is provided as part of a curriculum for obtaining a qualification/ degree recognized by law.
4. Section 76 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958) provides for the certificates of competency to be held by the officers of ships. It states that every Indian ship, when going to sea from any port or place, shall be provided with officers duly certificated under this Act in accordance with such manning scales as may be prescribed. Section 78 of the Act provides for several Grades of certificates of competency. Further, Section 79 provides that the Central Government or a person duly authorised by it shall appoint persons for the purpose of examining the qualifications of persons desirous of obtaining certificate of competency under section 78 of the Act.
5. In order to streamline and monitor the maritime education and trainings by maritime institutes and to administer the assessment agencies, the Merchant Shipping (standards of training, certification and watch-keeping for Seafarers) Rules, 2014 has been notified. Under Rule 9 of the said Rules, the Director General of Shipping is empowered to designate assessment centres. Further the provisions of sub- rules (6), (7) and (8) of the Rule 4 of the said Rules, empowers the Director General of Shipping, to approve (i) the training course, (ii) training, examination and assessment programme, and (iii) approved training institute etc.
6. From the above discussion, it is seen that the Maritime Training Institutes and their training courses are approved by the Director General of Shipping which are duly recognised under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 read with the Merchant Shipping (standards of training, certification and watch-keeping for Seafarers) Rules, 2014. Therefore, the Maritime Institutes are educational institutions under GST Law and the courses conducted by them are exempt from levy of GST. The exemption is subject to meeting the conditions specified at Sl. No. 66 of the notification No. 12/ 2017- Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017.
7. This clarification applies, mutatis mutandis, to corresponding entries of respective IGST, UTGST, SGST exemption notifications. Difficulty if any, in the implementation of this circular may be brought to the notice of the Board.