Top tech firms seek Nov 1 laptop import restriction deadline extended by a year

The Economic Times was first to report on the development.

New Delhi: Top consumer electronics companies like HP, Apple and Dell have urged the government to extend the November 1 deadline for the licences required for PCs, laptops and tablets by at least and year, as it will take time to configure and set up manufacturing/assembling units as per new guidelines.

In a meeting with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) officials on Tuesday, also attended by leading industry bodies the Manufacturing Association of IT Hardware (MAIT) and the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), the tech companies conveyed to the government they need more time to set up manufacturing units in the country, according to sources.

According to reports, some 44 companies, including some leading global players, have submitted applications for incentives under the production-linked incentive (PLI) 2.0 scheme for hardware.

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According to the notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), for clearance of import consignments with effect from November 1, 2023, a valid licence for restricted imports is required.

The government has told tech companies that the restrictions are not to ban imports but to promote exports via domestic manufacturing, according to industry representatives who attended the meeting.

The Economic Times was first to report on the development.

The Central government earlier deferred its decision to restrict the import of certain categories of laptops and computers until November 1, allowing companies three-months time to import these devices.

Post November 1, no entity will be allowed to import laptops, computers, and related items without a license.

“Import consignments can be cleared till October 31, 2023, without a licence for restricted imports,” the notification said, adding that liberal transitional arrangements will be notified for the import of laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, and servers till October 31.

This is a partial reversal from its August 3 order, which had imposed import restrictions on these devices with immediate effect.

The Centre has said the restrictions were imposed for security reasons and also for promoting the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mission.

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