A recent notification by the Government of India restricts the import of laptops, computers, and tablets. Businesses were able to carry imports without any certification before such imports had any limitations. Imports of such equipment will now require a valid license, according to the Government.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has stated in a notice that “Imports of laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, and ultra-small form factor computers and servers falling under HSN 8741 will be restricted and must be imported with a valid permit for restricted imports.”

Data processing machines are imported and exported using HSN 8741. All gadgets capable of processing information, such as laptops, computers, tablets, and mobile phones, fall into this category.

Imports of these items are not, however, completely prohibited by the government. The HSN 8741 category can be imported by traders with valid import licenses for a total of 20 items per consignment. In any case, imports will only be allowed for government-specified purposes, such as research and development, benchmarking, repairs, and product development.

What is this restriction all about?

Businesses that import servers on a large scale will be affected by this notification. Imports at the personal level, such as e-commerce imports from abroad, will be exempt from this restriction. As a result, if you plan on buying a phone, tablet, or any ultra-small gadget from overseas, your shipment will not be subject to import restrictions. You still have to clear customs and pay customs duty if applicable.

In addition, your baggage will be exempt from import restrictions if you are traveling from overseas to India with an imported gadget. When carrying any gadget from overseas to India, passengers must adhere to the Indian Border Rules.

The latest import license requirements do not apply to shipments of items falling under HSN 8741 that are first exported from India for repair and then re-imported.

The majority of these exemptions are applicable to single-level shipments and repairs. Consumers will be hit the hardest by companies that mass-import their gadgets without manufacturing facilities in India.

Companies will now have to look for local alternatives instead of importing equipment from overseas, as this move by the Government of India could boost Make in India. Details of these restrictions are still being clarified by the government.