India-Toy Market: Make in India Impact, Toy imports drop by 70%, Export up 61%


Make-in-India initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has yielded positive results for the toy sector in the country. According to the government data, the import of toys has declined 70% while 61% surge in exports seen in the last three years. For HS Codes, 9503, 9504, and 9505, the value of import of toys in India fell from $371 million in the financial year 2018-19 to $110 million in the financial year 2021-22, showing a decline of 70.35%. For the HS Code 9503, toy imports have decreased even faster, from $304 million in FY 2018-19 to $36 million in FY 2021-22 for HS Code 9503, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Harmonized System or HS Codes is a standardized numerical method of classifying traded products. The exports have jumped by 61.38% over the same period. For HS Codes 9503, 9504, and 9505, the export of toys has increased from $202 million in FY 2018-19 to $326 million in FY 2021-22, up by 61.39%. For HS Code 9503, exports of toys have increased from $109 million in FY 2018-19 to $177 million in FY 2021-22. Speaking to media during the 13th edition of Toy Biz B2B (Business to Business) International Exhibition, Anil Agrawal, Additional Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), highlighted the clarion call given by the prime minister on “Rebranding the Indian Toy Story”.

He emphasized on the availability of right kind of toys for children, using toys as a learning resource, designing of toys based on the Indian value system, Indian history, and culture to strengthen the domestic design and position India as a global manufacturing hub for toys. He said the industry has benefitted from a number of interventions by the government and the results show the success of the Make-in-India programme. He added that the imports were mainly restricted to some components of toys.

The interventions taken by the government to promote Make-in-India in toy sector include bringing it under compulsory Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification, quality testing and an increase in customs duty. In February 2020, the government increased basic customs duty on toys from 20% to 60%. As per the Quality Control Order (QCO), every toy shall conform to the requirements of relevant Indian Standard and bear the Standard Mark under a license from BIS as per Scheme-I of BIS (Conformity Assessment) Regulations, 2018. This QCO is applicable to both domestic manufacturers as well as foreign manufacturers who intend to export their toys to India. QCO on Toys was amended in December 2020 to exempt.

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