In big move, govt restricts import of laptops, tablets, servers with immediate effect

Importing electronic items such as laptops and tablets to India could become extremely difficult as the Indian government on Thursday places restrictions on the same.

| Updated on: Aug 03 2023, 12:58 IST
Imports of items like laptops and tablets will be subject to payment of import duty, the government stated. (REUTERS)
Imports of items like laptops and tablets will be subject to payment of import duty, the government stated. (REUTERS)

The Indian government has restricted the imports of items such as laptops, tablets, and servers with immediate effect, it said in a notice issued on Thursday. Announcing this crackdown, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry notified, “Import of Laptops, Tablets, All-in-one Personal Computers, and Ultra small form factor Computers and Servers falling under HSN 8741 shall be 'Restricted' and their import would be allowed against a valid Licence for Restricted Imports.”

Previously, the import of items such as personal computers, microcomputers, automatic data processing machines, and mainframe computers did not carry any duty to be paid. However, their import will now be restricted.

The Center further notified that the restriction shall not be applicable to imports under baggage rules, as amended from time to time.

Are there any exceptions?

The notice stated that exemption from import license requirements will be provided for items under certain conditions. “The import of 1 laptop, tablet, all-in-one personal computer, ultra-small form factor computer, including those purchased from e-commerce portals, through post or courier,” will be allowed for import on payment of applicable duty.

The government has also provided an exemption on import licenses for up to 20 items per consignment for the purpose of R&D testing, benchmarking and evaluation, repair and re-export, and product development purposes. As per the notice, the imported goods should only be used for the stated purposes, and not to be sold. Additionally, upon the completion of its use, they shall be either be re-exported, or destroyed beyond use.

A license for restricted imports shall not be required for the re-import of items that have been repaired abroad. Moreover, laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, ultra-small form factor computers, and servers, which are part of capital goods, shall be exempt from these restrictions.

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First Published Date: 03 Aug, 12:33 IST