Laptop ban: IT hardware companies may require global certification – Times of India

Laptop ban: IT hardware companies may require global certification – Times of India

The government may reportedly ask laptop, server and other IT hardware importers to provide an international certification attesting that their product is from a trusted source before allowing licence-free import. According to a report in Economic Times (ET), some of the hardware could have security-related issues and compromise sensitive and personal data.The sources said that this certification could be from an international organisation that could periodically verify if the components used in the hardware come from trusted supply chains and do not have any spyware or malware.
On August 3, the government announced import curbs and then suddenly deferred the decision on August 4, stating that the licensing regime will kick in from November 1 following concerns raised by the industry.
What the new rules are
Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Santosh Kumar Saranagi told media here that the new licensing or import authorisation/management system, which will come into operation with immediate effect, is primarily aimed at monitoring imports of these products to ensure that they are coming from “trusted” sources.
While seeking the authorisation, an importer will have to provide an import item summary and details of past import, export, and turnover. Subject to certain conditions, the government will not reject any import requests and will use the data for monitoring the inbound shipments of these goods.
After taking into account the concerns of stakeholders of the sector, some “tweaking” in the policy has been made, and an end-to-end online system was launched for importers, Saranagi added.
Announcement to make HP, Apple, Dell and others happy
The announcement is likely to be good news for companies in the IT hardware segment in India as they had flagged concerns over the imposition of a strict licensing regime for importers. Leading electronic brands that are sold in the market include HCL, Samsung, Dell, LG Electronics, Acer, Apple, Lenovo and HP. The new licence regime is applicable to laptops, personal computers (including tablet computers), microcomputers, large or mainframe computers, and certain data processing machines to ensure India’s trusted supply chain.
Despite these concerns, the government is likely to stick to its stance of allowing imports only from trusted sources and through the licensing or registration process. “We want an absolutely trusted supply chain for the Indian digital ecosystem, especially when we are just going to take off, and the entire internet is going to be built on servers, clouds and data centres,” an IT ministry official said.

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