Indian Government To Review Laptop Import Management System

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The government recognises that setting up or expanding manufacturing units takes time, but there must be enough effort from companies’ end to assure compliance with Indian requirements. 

The government is going to review the import management system for laptops and other digital devices around September to evaluate electronics manufacturers’ readiness to establish or expand their manufacturing presence in India. The review will likely include assessing importers on factors such as the number of laptops imported since October 2023, the origin of these devices and components, and whether the components came from trusted sources.

A senior government official mentioned that the purpose is also to check if companies have made efforts to set up manufacturing units in India. Depending on the progress made by individual companies, the government may consider relaxing some criteria for importing laptops, tablets, and other IT hardware.

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The official highlighted that one of the biggest challenges for companies is setting up printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing in India, along with surface mount technology (SMT) lines, which would significantly improve the domestic value addition to devices.

The government recognizes that setting up or expanding manufacturing units takes time, but there must be some effort from companies to demonstrate their willingness to comply with India’s needs and requirements.

laptop

The import management system for laptops, tablets, and certain other IT hardware categories was implemented in October of the previous year. In August, the government placed laptops, tablets, all-in-one PCs, ultra-small factor computers, and servers in the restricted imports category, requiring importers to obtain a licence. Following a meeting with electronics company executives, the government extended the deadline for obtaining licences until October 31.

Companies like Apple, Dell, HP, and Acer had earlier requested an extension of nine months to a year for the deadline for import licences. The government assured the companies that the import licensing norms were not intended to discourage imports but to minimise them and promote exports from India by enhancing domestic manufacturing capabilities.

In November 2023, the government approved 110 out of 111 applications for import permissions of IT hardware products worth nearly $10 billion, including those from Apple, Dell, and Lenovo, on the first day of implementing the new system.

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