Restrictions on Import of Laptops, Tablets, Personal Computers and Servers

ban on imports of laptop

New Delhi: The Modi government at the Center has taken a big decision regarding the items related to electronics. The government has put a ‘restriction’ on the import of laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, ultra-small form factor (USSF) computers, and servers for security reasons and to encourage domestic manufacturing.

This will reduce the import of these items from countries like China and South Korea. The import curb is in force with immediate effect. Putting the import of a product in the category of restrictions means that a license or permission from the government will be mandatory for their import.

Ensuring the safety of citizens
A senior official said that there are many reasons behind imposing these curbs but the main reason is to ‘ensure the safety of our citizens’. The official said that the penetration of the Internet in the country is now becoming more widespread and in view of this, Indian citizens need such an environment where their data does not reach such machines or devices, which may pose security risks to them. He said, “Some devices may have security issues and may put sensitive and personal information at risk. We have taken action on some such items.”

Release of notification
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification issued on Thursday that for the purpose of research and development, testing, benchmarking, evaluation, repair, and product development, import licenses will now be up to 20 items per consignment. “The import of laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, and servers has been put under the ‘restricted’ category with immediate effect,” the notification said.

Security top priority of the government
The official said that security is the top priority of the government and the step has been taken in compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) norms. It was said in the notification that microcomputers, large computers, and some data processing machines have also been kept in the category of import curbs. It said that the import of these products will be allowed if there is a valid license. However, these restrictions will not apply under the baggage rule.

Exemption from the rule on products ordered by post or courier
The notification said, “A laptop, tablet, all-in-one personal computer, purchased through an e-commerce portal, the product ordered by post or courier will be exempted from the requirement of import license. In such cases, it can be imported after paying the applicable duty.

ban on imports of laptop

According to a report by the research institute Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI), 65 percent of India’s imports from China are limited to just 3 product groups… electronics, machinery, and organic chemicals. The report said that India is largely dependent on China for its daily needs and industrial products such as mobile phones, laptops, components, solar cell modules, and ICs.

The government has taken several steps to encourage the domestic manufacturing of electronic goods. Major electronics brands sold in the Indian market include HCL, Samsung, Dell, LG Electronics, Acer, Apple, Lenovo, and HP. India has imported personal computers worth $5.33 billion including laptops in 2022-23. In 2021-22, this figure was $ 7.37 billion.