The Indian authorities have immediately enforced restrictions on the import of laptops, tablets, and personal computers classified under HSN 8741. A government announcement outlines that these restricted imports will only be permitted with a valid license. However, these limitations won’t apply to items imported under Baggage Rules. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department of Commerce, Government of India, stated in a notification that certain exemptions from import licensing are granted, allowing the import of one laptop, tablet, all-in-one Personal Computer, or Ultra small form factor Computer. This includes items acquired from e-commerce platforms, post, or courier, with applicable duty payment.
Custom checks, also known as baggage rules, must be cleared by all individuals entering or exiting India. The notification states that up to 20 such items per consignment are exempt from import licensing for the purposes of research and development, testing, benchmarking, evaluation, repair, re-export, and product development.
The notification specifies that the imported goods must be used solely for the designated purposes and should not be sold. After fulfilling their intended function, these products must be either rendered unusable or re-exported.
For items being re-imported after repair abroad, a license for Restricted Imports will not be required, clarified the government.
Furthermore, the notice highlights that “Laptops, Tablets, All-in-one Personal Computers and Ultra small factor Computers and Servers which are an essential part of a Capital Good shall be exempted from the import licensing requirements.”
This move aligns with the government’s efforts to bolster domestic manufacturing in line with the ‘Make In India’ initiative led by the BJP-led government. The import restrictions aim to provide a fillip to local electronic product manufacturers such as laptop and computer makers.
Prominent foreign players in the Indian laptop and computer market include Dell, Acer, Samsung, Panasonic, Apple, Lenovo, and HP.