New Delhi: India could impose curbs on imports that were brought in without specifying which category they fall under. Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal has warned against imports under the ‘others’ category and said that within a month, high duty will be imposed on all products categorised as ‘others’ if they are not carry the specific globally-accepted tariff code.

Every traded product is categorised under an HSN code – Harmonised System of Nomenclature – which is the global systematic classification of goods. Imports termed ‘others’ do not have HSN codes and are tagged along with parts and accessories of categorised goods.

Terming the category of “others” a big problem, Goyal said all sorts of goods were making an entry this way. “I will follow the German model,” he said at the sixth National Standards Conclave organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, adding that he would wait for response from importers for the next 30 days and thereafter, “I will restrict import of any product that goes in the others category.” Citing an analysis, he said one out of the four products being imported in India is under this category. He said that importers will have to approach the ministry to take a special licence for that import without which “you cannot import any product in the others category.”

“Today, I would like to give a final announcement that I appeal to everybody who is importing any product or services, please categorise your product into a HSN code,” he said. Out of over $500-billion of imports in 2018-19, the ‘others’ category accounted for over $100 billion. “We will start the process to create a separate HSN code if it is not fitting into any existing code or amend the existing code. Very soon, I shall be coming out with serious consequences. The consequences could be a higher duty,” said Goyal.

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