NEW DELHI: India, on Thursday, launched a new online system of authorisation for import of laptops, tablets, and personal computers, aiming to monitor shipments of such hardware without hurting supply. The restriction-free system comes two months after the announcement of a licensing regime for these products.
Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Santosh Kumar Sarangi said that the policy tweaks seek to monitor the imports of these products to ensure that they were coming from “trusted” sources. The import authorisation will remain valid till September 30, 2024.
Sources said the government has received around 100 applications for import of ICT products which would be processed now after the newly launched online portal.
“We need data to see if imports are coming from one source. We need to monitor them as 2-3 nations such as China, Singapore and Hong Kong account for more than 80% of these imported goods,” said an official.
The new system will come into force from November 1, but importers were allowed to apply for import authorisation from Thursday. There will be no restriction on quantity, value, country or origin. The Cantre will not reject any import requests and will use the data only for monitoring, the official said.
“There is no withdrawal of any notification,” Sarangi said.
In August, the government placed these products in the restricted imports category, making licence mandatory for their imports. A day later, following a meeting of electronics company executives with senior officials from the IT ministry as well as the DGFT, the government extended the deadline for implementation until October 31.
“Though an online system has been put in place, these IT hardware products are still “under the restricted” category,” Sarangi said, adding that importers would not be required to register to seek authorisation. The importers can apply for multiple authorisations.
India imported IT products worth $8.7 billion in FY23 against $10.3 billion in FY22 and $7.1 billion in FY21.
On the post-September 2024 scenarios, S Krishnan, secretary, ministry of electronics and information technology, said the government will study the data, interact with the industry, and then decide on ways to move forward.
The import management system is different from import monitoring system as it will allow real-time tracking of imports. Sarangi said the system will be faceless and contactless, without any hassles for importers to fill in their details. It is applicable to laptops, personal computers (including tablet computers), microcomputers, large or mainframe computers, and certain data processing machines to ensure India’s trusted supply chain.
In a notification, the DGFT said IT hardware products manufactured in special economic zones (SEZ) can be imported into domestic tariff areas without any import authorisation on payment of duties, if any. Activities like re-packing, labelling, refurbishing, testing and calibration alone within the SEZ are not considered as the manufacturing for availing this exemption from import authorisation.
Source: The Economic Times