India to curb laptops and computers import

The restrictions will impact devices designed for data processing tasks.

 Computer, Computer Hardware, Computer Keyboard, Electronics, Hardware, Laptop, Pc

The Government of India has imposed restrictions on the immediate import of laptops, tablets, and PCs that fall under the HSN 8741 category i.e. devices that are designed for data processing tasks. The directives imposing immediate restrictions on importing were issued by India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) through notification No. 23/2023. However, a later notification (No. 26/2023) allowed import consignments to be cleared without a license until 31 October. Yet, it stipulated that a government permit would be required for clearance of imports from 1 November.

The government has clarified that a license for restricted imports will not be needed for items that are being re-imported after being repaired abroad. Furthermore, these restrictions will not apply to imports under baggage rules, ensuring that passengers can carry them in their baggage.

Why does it matter?

The decision aligns with the Indian government’s efforts to enhance the manufacturing sector in India as part of the broader ‘Make In India’ initiative and to encourage the manufacturing of domestic IT hardware products as part of the renewed production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme. Consequently, the restrictions on imports are expected to provide a fillip to domestic manufacturers of electronic items, including laptops and computers. Alongside boosting local manufacturing, this move also aims to reduce dependence on supplies from China as it accounts for a major share of imports in the restricted categories.

However, Indian consumers can be expected to be adversely affected as the ban is set to increase the price of personal computers.