India’s Blanket Ban on ACs Import
India has imposed a complete ban on import of air-conditioners with refrigerants, further tightening norms on “non-essential imports” to encourage local manufacturing and reduce imports from China.
The ban on the import of air-conditioners is severe as it prohibits imports of any kind. Most imported air-conditioners are filled with refrigerants. India imported split ACs worth $469 million in FY20, including $241 million Chinese products and $189 million from Thailand. Likewise, window ACs worth $35 million were imported during the same period, with Thailand and China accounting for $18 million and $14 million, respectively. Indian manufacturers such as Voltas Ltd and Havells India Ltd which makes Lloyd air-conditioners are set to benefit from the import ban.
Contract manufacturers also see big opportunity from the government’s decision. Almost 30% of the imports, in phase-one, will start getting assembled here and then in phase-two, they will start getting manufactured here and that will bring us economies of scale required for expanding the component ecosystem.