Attendees look at the newest LG gram laptops at the LG Electronics booth the 2023 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 05 January 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/CAROLINE BREHMAN

India Restricts Import of Laptops, Tablets, and Other PCs

The Indian government on Thursday announced immediate restrictions on the import of laptops, tablets, and personal computers for sale, in an attempt to boost the purchase and local manufacturing of electronic products.

“Import of laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, and ultra small-form-factor computers (…) shall be ‘restricted’,” the directorate general of foreign trade, a part of the Indian trade and industry ministry, said in a statement.

The order issued by the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry said the import of these types of products would require a “valid license for restricted imports.”

The statement further clarified that import “shall be allowed subject to the condition that the imported goods shall be used for the stated purposes only and will not be sold. Further, after the intended use the products would either be destroyed beyond use or re-exported.”

The authorities have said that an exemption from import license would be granted for up to 20 such items per consignment, for use in activities such as “research and development, testing, benchmarking and evaluation, repair and re-export, product development,” etc.

The new government norm is aimed at reducing the import of electronic products, which stood at $19.7 billion in the last quarter (April-June) – a 6.25 percent jump year-on-year – according to the Indian trade ministry.

The measure would mainly affect foreign electronic companies specializing in the sale of laptops, such as Samsung, HP, LG, Apple, and Panasonic, as many of them manufacture their products in China.

The measure is in line with the “Make in India” policy of the Hindu nationalist government, which aims to make conditions favorable for companies to increase their production capacity in the country. 

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