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Licensing Requirement for Importing Laptops, Tablets



  Aug 07, 2023

Licensing Requirement for Importing Laptops, Tablets, and All-in-One PCs


Q: What is the recent notification issued by the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)?

A: The DGFT issued a notification imposing a licensing requirement for the import of laptops, tablets, all-in-one PCs, and ultra-small form factor computers and servers falling under HSN 8741, effective immediately.
 

Q: What is the purpose of imposing the licensing requirement?

A: The move aims to address India's security concerns, especially regarding items shipped from China, and to boost local manufacturing. The government aims to encourage domestic production similar to the iPhone model.
 

Q: Are there any clarifications on the transition phase for importers

A: Yes, the government will provide a longer transition period to the industry to adjust to the new licensing regime. Importers can commence imports without restrictions, and the timeline for obtaining the licenses may be extended by a month or more.
 

Q: Can imports be made without a license until a certain date?

A: Yes, consignments can be imported without a license until August 30 if the bill of lading and letter of credit were issued or opened before August 3. This flexibility is provided under the transition provisions of the foreign trade policy.
 

Q: How long does it take to obtain a license for importing these products?

A: According to officials, licenses can be issued within "five minutes to half a day" through the online portal. The actual time may vary based on government discretion, but qualification parameters are defined.
 

Q: What is the objective of the licensing regime in relation to imports from China?

A: Since a significant portion of laptops, tablets, and computers imported annually comes from China, the licensing requirement aims to address the trade imbalance with China and encourage domestic manufacturing for more secure devices.
 

Q: Will there be any trouble at the WTO due to these import restrictions?

A: There will be no trouble at the World Trade Organization (WTO) as there is no prohibition on imports, and shipments can be brought in by importers after obtaining licenses.
 

Q: How does the government plan to promote domestic manufacturing in the electronics sector?

A: The government aims to focus on domestic manufacturing to enhance the country's security. By increasing domestic production, India can become more self-reliant in areas like mobile manufacturing, where it already has 99.2% of production within the country. A similar approach can be taken for computers and laptops.


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