Government Extends Deadline for Laptop and Tablet Imports License Application by Three Months

Laptop and Tablet

In a significant development welcomed by electronic companies, the government has opted to postpone the implementation of its laptop and tablet import restriction plan by a span of three months. According to an official notification released today, companies now have an extended window until October 31 to secure the necessary license for importing these devices.

During this transition period, which the government has termed a “liberal transitional arrangement,” import consignments of laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers, ultra-small form factor computers, and servers will be permitted to undergo clearance until October 31, 2023, without the obligatory license. However, starting from November 1, a government permit will become a requisite for the import clearance process.

This move marks a partial reversal of the government’s abrupt decision from last Thursday to implement immediate licensing requirements, a decision that took many by surprise and prompted industry calls for more time.

Government authorities justified these import restrictions on the grounds of security concerns and the desire to boost domestic manufacturing. The policy shift not only aims to curtail the inflow of these goods from countries like China and Korea but also enables tighter scrutiny of the origins of these products.

Union IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar emphasised that the core objective behind these measures is to “guarantee the usage of trusted hardware and systems” and to diminish reliance on foreign imports.

The announcement caught the industry off guard, compelling tech giants to swiftly initiate discussions with the government on expedited license procurement, especially given the imminent Diwali shopping season and heightened consumer interest.

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