Import of Mobile Phones

The quantity and value of mobile phones including accessories imported by India during last three years are as follows:

(Quantity in Thousand and Value in USD Million)
ITCHS Item Description 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
Qty. Value Qty. Value Qty. Value
85171210 Cellular mobile phone- Push button type 4856 48.00 37678 934.79 14753 399.96
85171290 Cellular mobile phones -others             (Smart phones) 70925 3739.95 52843 2602.50 12226 1216.51
Total 75781 3787.95 90521 3537.29 26979 1616.41

Source: DGCI&S, Kolkata

As per India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), about 260 units manufacture cellular mobile handsets, including sub-assemblies/ parts and components in India. Most of the major brands (both foreign and Indian) have already set up their own manufacturing facilities or are in the process of doing so or have sub-contracted manufacturing to Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) companies operating in India.  The steps taken by Government to promote mobile handset manufacturing ecosystem in the country in this regard include:

Rationalized tariff structure and a Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) for the promotion of manufacturing of mobile handsets and their sub-assemblies/ parts.

  1. Units manufacturing Mobile handsets and their sub-assemblies/ parts were also eligible for availing Capex benefits under the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS), which was open to receive applications till 31.12.2018.
  2. 100% FDI is permitted for manufacture of mobile handsets and their sub-assemblies/ parts.
  3. Specified capital goods for manufacture of mobile handsets are permitted for import at zero Basic Customs Duty (BCD).

Rationalization of tariff structure is an on-going process. Tariff structure has been rationalized to promote domestic manufacturing of electronic goods, including cellular mobile handsets. In the Budget 2018-19, BCD was increased from 15% to 20% on cellular mobile handsets. Presently, there is no proposal under consideration to increase BCD on import of cellular mobile handset beyond 20%.