The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in a notification said that exemption from import licensing will be provided only for up to 20 items per consignment
The move is in line with the Indian government’s plans to boost ‘Make in India’ but may hit the likes of Apple and Dell in the short-term
The Indian market for laptops and PCs is dominated by major foreign players such as Dell, Acer, Samsung, Panasonic, Apple, Lenovo and HP
The Indian government has imposed immediate restrictions on import of laptops, tablets, and personal computers falling under HSN 8741 category.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in a notification said that exemption from import licensing is provided for up to 20 items per consignment for R&D, testing, benchmarking and evaluation, repair and return, product development purposes.
“Exemption from import licensing requirements is provided for import of 1 laptop, tablet, all in one personal computer, or ultra small form factor computer, including those purchased from e-commerce portals, through post or courier. Imports shall be subject to payment of duty as applicable,” the notification said.
However, the curbs will not be applicable to imports under Baggage Rules.
“Given imports shall be allowed subject to the condition that the imported goods shall be used for the stated purposes only and will not be sold. Further, after the intended purpose, the products would either be destroyed beyond use or re-exported,” the notification added further.
The Indian market for laptops and PCs is dominated by major foreign players such as Dell, Acer, Samsung, Panasonic, Apple, Lenovo and HP. The India traditional PC market, inclusive of desktops, notebooks, and workstations, grew by 0.3% year-over-year (YoY) in 2022 to 14.9 Mn units despite a steep YoY decline of 28.5% in 4Q22 (Oct-Dec), according to a report by International Data Corporation.
The move is in line with the Indian government’s plans to boost ‘Make in India’. However, it may hit the likes of Apple and Dell, forcing them to manufacture laptops domestically. While Apple has begun production of iPhones in India, it doesn’t produce its laptops in the country yet.
Earlier this year, India announced a $2 Bn production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to promote domestic manufacturing of laptops, PCs, servers and related-edge computing kit. It also covers personal computers and servers.
“It will create additional incentives for companies to set up their manufacturing base in India,” MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar said at the time of unveiling the programme.
Interestingly, Reliance Jio launched its JioBook in India earlier this week. The 11-inch laptop, priced at INR 16,499, has an HD screen and an octa-core processor.