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No import restrictions on certain IT products like desktop computers : DGFT

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NEW DELHI : The government has clarified that there are no import restrictions on certain IT hardware products such as desktop computers. In a circular to customs authorities and industry, the Commerce Ministry arm Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has said only the import of laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, ultra small form factor computers and servers is restricted and imports of these goods are allowed against a valid import authorisation.

“The given import restriction does not apply to any other goods such as desktop computers, etc, under the tariff head 8471,” it said.

In international trade parlance, every product is categorised under an HSN (Harmonised System of Nomenclature) code, or tariff heads. It helps in systematic classification of goods across the globe.

HS Code 8471 includes products related to automatic data processing machines and units. It includes a mouse, printers, scanners, and CD drives.

In August 2023, the government imposed restrictions on certain IT hardware goods and later after domestic and foreign firms flagged their concerns, in October last year, it tweaked curbs on imports of laptops and computers and allowed importers to bring in shipments of these hardwares from overseas on a mere ‘authorisation’ upon detailing quantity and value.

The new “import management system” is aimed at monitoring shipments of laptops, tablets and computers into the country without hurting market supply or creating a cumbersome licensing regime.

The importers are allowed to apply for multiple authorisations and those authorisations would be valid up to September 30, 2024.

When asked about the issue on desktop computers, an official said that certain companies approached the DGFT that the customs is not allowing imports of desktops, so a clarification is issued on that.

In a desktop computer, CPU and monitor are separate, but in all-in-one personal computers, CPU is in-built.

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