India Will Not Impose Curbs on Imports of Laptops, PCs, Servers from Nov. 1

Posted by Written by Melissa Cyrill Reading Time: 2 minutes

India has reportedly decided not to impose import curbs on IT hardware like laptops, tablets, all-one-PCs, and servers from November 1, 2023. Per government officials quoted by media outlets, an import management system is being put in place.

On September 23, the Economic Times (ET) reported that the Indian government is likely not going to implement its planned import curbs on items falling under HSN 8741 category, including laptops, tables, servers, etc.

The previous day, September 22, media reports in India discussed how several firms were keen on setting up manufacturing operations in India, with some like Dell and HP taking advantage of production-linked subsidies under the revamped scheme. However, what was unclear at the time was whether the government would delay implementing the import restrictions by a year or abandon it altogether.

How the import management system is set to work

As per officials speaking to ET, a system for import authorization will be established within the next six to eight months. This mechanism will allocate quotas to companies importing IT hardware.

Additionally, the officials say that the government is assuring leading IT hardware brands that until October 2024, there will be no restrictions on the quantity of IT hardware products that can be imported.

Import authorizations will be granted to companies based on three criteria—”the import value of the previous year or the average of the past three years for IT products, domestic manufacturing of IT hardware devices, and exports of electronics goods”.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) will oversee the entirely online import management system, ensuring transparency and efficiency.

The Government of India is likely not to implement import restrictions on laptops, tablets, personal computers (PCs), and other electronic items falling under the HSN 8741 category from November 1, 2023—as media reports talk of a shift in strategy towards import management. The decision will bring relief to major foreign tech brands like Dell, Acer, Samsung, Panasonic, Apple, Asus, Lenovo, and HP. Meanwhile, various IT hardware firms are pursuing plans to start manufacturing IT hardware devices locally between 2023-2025.


On August 3, via Notification No. 23/2023, India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) imposed immediate restrictions on importing seven items, including laptops, tablets, and personal computers (PCs) falling under HSN 8741 category. The import of these restricted items would now require a valid license.

The next day, on August 4, amending the above notification, the DGFT deferred the implementation of these import restrictions till October 31, 2023 [Notification No. 26/2023]. This meant that starting November 1, 2023, the clearance of import consignments of of laptops, tablets, all-in-one PCs, ultra small form factor computers, and servers, among others, falling under the HSN 8471 category would require a valid ‘Licence for Restricted Imports’.

Between the sudden announcements in early August and September, the government has continuously engaged in discussions with industry associations ICEA and MAIT as well as representatives from major companies like Cisco, Intel, Apple, Samsung, Dell, HP, HPE, Acer, and Asus. Ultimately, the result appears to be a move towards some type of import management system, with the various stakeholders helping government officials refine the import management rules.

Sunset clause considered by the government

The Indian government is further considering a sunset clause by 2030 for the import management system, which underscores its commitment to developing indigenous IT hardware manufacturing capacity.

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