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Trade

After New Import Rule, Laptop and Tablet Shipments Fall to a 9-Month Low in November: Report

Since the initiation of the import management system on November 1, importers need to register themselves and share how many laptops and computers are being imported, and from which sources.

New Delhi: Imports of laptops and tablets declined in November to a nine-month low of $225 million, after the government’s online monitoring system for electronic hardware imports went live on November 1, 2023, Business Standard reported.

The imports from Singapore declined by 43.7%, Hong Kong (27.4%), and China (14%), the newspaper reported, citing data from the commerce ministry.

China accounts for 83% of such imports, the business daily added.

Another significant item on the IT hardware monitoring list – data processing units or servers – saw a contraction of 31.8% in inbound shipments, the report said.

Imports from major sources such as China and the US fell by 8.8% and 3.6%, respectively.

On August 3, the government had imposed import restrictions on laptops, tablets, and certain types of computers with immediate effect, citing “security reasons” and the need to promote domestic manufacturing.

The move mandated importers of these items to take permission or licence from the government for their inbound shipments.

After facing criticism, the Union government, after a few days later, called off import curbs on these items.

However, on September 26, a new rule was announced wherein importers are required to register on an ‘import management system’ in order to import regulated products.

Under this system, companies need to register themselves and share how many laptops and computers are being imported, and from which sources, the Indian Express reported.

Amid fear of licensing requirements, imports of laptops and tablets shot up in September (41.8%) and October (29.7%), the business daily said.