Explore India's new import licensing standards for laptops and tablets, aimed at boosting local manufacturing and reducing technology imports. Learn how companies can earn credits based on exports and domestic production, offsetting import costs.

In an effort to bolster local manufacturing and reduce reliance on technology imports, the Indian government has engaged with stakeholders to discuss two new standards for the import of laptops, tablets, and other information technology (IT) hardware. These proposed changes involve linking import quotas to a company's local manufacturing and export values of electronic items. Companies would earn credits based on their export and domestic production, which could then offset import costs.

This initiative follows the recent introduction of an import licensing regime for IT products, aimed at promoting domestic manufacturing. Under the new regime, each company will be assigned an import quota for IT hardware, with gradual reductions over four years, ultimately reaching 10% in the fourth year.

The "import management system" is set to take effect from November 1, 2023, allowing companies time to prepare for the new regulations. The government has assured that the supply chain for laptops will not be disrupted during the transition period, as companies eligible under the Product-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme 2.0 for IT hardware work on local assembly operations.

While some companies advocate for a postponement until October 2024 to evaluate the progress of the PLI 2.0 scheme, the government emphasizes that it aims to manage rather than impose mandatory import licensing. Stakeholders have been invited to provide input on the proposed import management system, ensuring a collaborative approach to these regulatory changes.

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