Laptop, PC import licencing may go

Govt hints at 1-yr grace period, cos may need to register on a portal to import these items
Image used for representational purpose only. (File photo)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File photo)

NEW DELHI:   The government may scrap its directive asking for a mandatory licence to import laptops, all-in-one personal computers, and tablets. According to industry sources, during a meeting with industry stakeholders, the government said companies will only need to register on a portal to import these items. The government has also hinted at providing a one-year grace period for importing these items.  

Industry players have been informed that the “import management system” portal, which will be managed by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), will go live by the end of this month.  “We raised concerns about the sudden import ban on these items. However, the government indicated that it may extend the deadline by another year. Now, we don’t need to seek any licences but only need to register. During this period, companies can import as much quantity as they want,” said a source. 

On August 4, the government suddenly announced the ban on laptops, all-in-one personal computers, and tablets. Later in the day, it clarified that there was no ban, but electronic manufacturing companies needed a licence to import these items starting from November 1, 2023. Subsequently, the Minister of State, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, clarified that it was not licencing but an import management system, with the purpose of ensuring that equipment, servers, and laptops entering the digital India ecosystem originate from trusted sources.

Today, while announcing the groundbreaking ceremony for Micron Technology’s semiconductor testing and assembly plant in Gujarat’s Sanand, the minister acknowledged the communication gap.
“I accept that there was a communication gap; it was never meant to be a licencing requirement. Today, we are meeting with industry representatives and sharing a draft of the import management system. Its aim is to address the high dependency on sources that are not verified and trusted,” said Rajeev Chandrasekhar.  He further emphasised that currently, 80% of our devices come from imports, and the goal is to ensure that these sources are trusted. 

“As we expand the internet and develop the Indian cloud, as we establish more data centers, and as the servers that go into them and the laptops that operate on the cloud should be sourced from trusted providers,” said the minister. 

What on card

1. As per sources, companies will only need to register on a portal to import laptops, personal computers and tablets 

2. Govt has hinted at providing one-year grace period to Industry players for importing these items

3.Import management system portal, to be managed by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), will go live by the end of this month, as per industry players

4. On August 4, the govt announced ban on laptops, personal computers, and tablets

5. It later clarified that there was no ban, but electronic manufacturing companies needed a licence to import these items starting Nov 1

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