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Policy Notified for Import of Used Laptops, Desktops from SEZ to DTA

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has provided certain relaxations for the import of used IT assets including laptops, desktops, monitors, and printers, from Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to Domestic Tariff Areas (DTAs).

This has been done vide an amendment to the Foreign Trade Policy, 2023. Chapter 2 of the Policy contains provisions pertaining to the import and export of goods and services[1]. The import policy for second-hand goods is contained in para 2.31 of said Chapter, and the present amendment adds used IT assets as another category of second-hand capital goods in para 2.31.

As per the amendment, the import of used IT assets from SEZ to DTA is restricted. It will be free if the imports fulfil the criteria prescribed in the Ministry’s notification. On the other hand, if the criteria are not met, the import of used IT assets would require a licence for restricted imports.

Such a licence would not be required if the assets are not older than 5 years (from the manufacture date), have been used for a minimum period of 2 years and are being shifted for use in the company’s DTA operations.

The licence would also not apply to imports where the unit is closing down its operations in the SEZ and relocating to the DTA. Even in this case, the goods shouldn’t be older than 5 years. This exemption does not cover instances where the assets had arrived in SEZ in second-hand or old state and were used for less than 2 years in the SEZ area.

It has been clarified that the benefit of these provisions applies only if no exemption from regulatory requirements, i.e., Compulsory Registration Order (CRO), Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC), Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), was availed when the assets were imported into the SEZ.

[1] Available at https://content.dgft.gov.in/Website/dgftprod/4f665d2f-20cc-4887-ae6a-5ec912bc0d44/FTP2023_Chapter02.pdf