India bans imports of air conditioners
The Indian government has banned the import of air conditioners in order to boost domestic production.
The domestic market of air conditioners (AC) in India is estimated at about 4 million units per year, and imports of ACs into India amount to around 30%. The Indian market is expected to grow substantially due to changing lifestyles, increasing urbanisation, better power supply and rising wealth.
On 15 October 2020, the Indian government banned the import of air conditioners (ACs) using refrigerants. The notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) refers to AC units “with refrigerant” designed to be fixed to a window, wall, ceiling or floor, self-contained or split system.
The government wants to boost domestic manufacturing, which is critical to the success of the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” campaign. This campaign, which translates into “self-sufficient India”, aims at pulling the country’s economy out the Coronavirus crisis.
On the one hand, the ban should affect small companies that used to launch their products during peak summer season and disrupt the market through duty-free import agreements. On the other hand, the ban is unlikely to affect the major foreign players. Indeed, Daikin, LG, Johnson Controls Hitachi, Samung, Carrier Midea, Panasonic and others already have factories in the country, competing alongside major Indian manufacturers such as Blue Star and Voltas.