Why Did the Government Ban Import of Laptops & Computers? How Does it Affect the Customers?

On Thursday, August 3, 2023 the Directorate General Of Foreign Trade announced a restriction on the import of laptops, tablets, personal and ultra small computers and servers with immediate effect. 

A license from the government for the inbound shipment will be required for any company who plans to import these systems to India. These restrictions are imposed under HSN Code 8471 on seven categories. 

HSN, which is the Harmonised System of Nomenclature code, is a classification system which is used to identify products for taxation. The HSN code 8471 classifies the data processing machines. 

With this step, our government will promote the domestic manufacturing of these products under the PLI scheme for IT hardware. 

If you wish to apply for the so-called production linked incentives in the hardware category then you must apply before the last date which is August 30. 

The move will also limit the shipments from Korea and China. 

However as per the provisions of FTP, if the bill has been issued before 3 August, 2023, there will not be any restrictions on the import. From August 4, an importer can apply for the license provided that he must be a regular importer. 

The exempted products Include one laptop, tablet, All in one personal computer / ultra form factor computer that also includes purchases from postals or couriers. 

As per the news agency PTI, exemptions are also given to import licensing for upto 20 items per consignment for testing, benchmarking, R&D, evaluation, Repair and return and product development purposes. 

How does the move affect the customers? 

The announcement may lead to a rise in the existing prices of laptops and gadgets since most of these companies import their machinery from outside. 

Tech giants like Apple will now have to start manufacturing in India or they’ll have to stop importing their gadgets. Other companies like Asus, Hp, Lenovo, Samsung etc will have to do the same.

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