India is relaxing its planned restrictions on the import of laptops, tablets, and other IT hardware, providing more time for manufacturers to prepare for potential curbs. This decision by the South Asian country is a win for Apple, HP, and other tech companies operating in India.
According to people familiar with the policy, India will eliminate the compulsory licensing requirement for tech importers. Instead, companies will only need to register under the country’s import management system. This system is set to begin operating on November 1. The sources requested anonymity as the matter has not been made public yet.
The move by India aims to boost local production while ensuring an adequate supply of consumer electronics. Last month, the federal government surprised companies like Apple and Samsung by announcing plans to restrict laptop and tablet imports without a required license. However, the implementation of this plan was delayed by three months by India’s trade regulator.
Under the new plan, inbound shipments will not be limited for about six to nine months. Once companies begin to manufacture laptops, tablets, and other hardware locally, a quota on imports could gradually be imposed. The size of each company’s quota will depend on its local production, import of IT hardware, and export of such products from India. It is important to note that the new rules do not apply to smartphones.
The decision to provide a grace period for companies to adjust before implementing the restrictions is a positive move. The MacDailyNews Take suggests that this grace period should have been in place from the beginning. Apple, in particular, has been heavily investing in manufacturing and assembly operations in India as part of its strategy to diversify beyond China. Given Apple’s commitment to India, it is possible that the company will receive exemptions or expedited licensing.
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