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India imposes curbs on import of laptops, tablets, and computers

The central government has placed restrictions on the import of laptops, tablets, and computers with immediate effect, the Ministry of Commerce said in a notification on August 3, adding that the import would be allowed against a valid licence for restricted imports.

“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,” the notification read. The restriction shall not be applicable to imports under baggage rules, it said.

As per the earlier policy, the import of aforesaid items was free.

However, the exemption from import licensing requirements is provided for import of one laptop, tablet, all-in-one personal computer, or ultra small form factor computer, including those purchased from e-commerce portals, through post or courier, the government has said.
The imports shall be subject to payment of duty as applicable.

The government notification, however, clarifies that exemption from import licence is provided for up to 20 such items per consignment for the purpose of research and development, testing, benchmarking and evaluation, repair and re-export, and product development purposes.

“Given imports shall be allowed subject to 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 ministry added.

Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman, India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA) told CNBC-TV18 that the policy announcement sems to be based on the premise of providing secure digital access to the burgeoning number of digital citizens in the country.

“We are confident that valid licenses will be provided to trusted industry partners which will enable Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) and unrestricted access to trusted brands for digital consumers.”

Regarding re-import of goods repaired abroad, the government notifications said a licence for restricted imports shall not be required for repair and return of said items.

Also, laptops, tablets, PCs , and ultra small form factor computers and servers which are an essential part of a Capital Good shall be exempted from the import licencing requirements. CNBCTV18

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