Toy imports in India have declined 70 per cent while exports have increased 61 per cent over the last three years, according to figures shared by the Commerce & Industry Ministry.

This is due to various interventions by the government such as mandating sample quality testing of every import consignment, increasing import duty on toys and bringing toys under compulsory Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification, a release issued by the government pointed out.

“For HS Codes 9503, 9504, and 9505, the import of toys to India has reduced from $371 million in 2018-19 to $110 million in 2021-22 thus showing a decrease of 70.35 per cent...For HS Codes 9503, 9504, and 9505, export of toys has increased from $202 million in 2018-19 to $326 million in 2021-22, up by 61.39 per cent,” the release said.

The industry has benefited from a number of interventions by the government and results show the success of Make in India programme, said Anil Agarwal, Additional Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) at the 13th edition of Toy Biz B2B International Exhibition at Pragati Maidan on Tuesday.

He added that the imports were mainly restricted to some components of the toys. The government increased basic custom duty on toys (HS Code-9503) from 20 per cent to 60 per cent in February, 2020.

Quality control order

The Centre also issued the Toys (Quality Control) Order, 2020 on February 25 2020 through which toys have been brought under compulsory BIS certification with effect from January 1, 2021. This QCO is applicable to both domestic and foreign manufacturers who intend to export their toys to India.

To encourage small sector manufacturers, the QCO on toys was amended in December 2020 to exempt goods and articles manufactured and sold by artisans registered with Development Commissioner (Ministry of Textile) and also by registered proprietor and authorised users of a product registered as Geographical Indication by the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks , the release said.

BIS also made special provisions to grant licence to micro scale units manufacturing toys without testing facility for one year and not insisting on establishing in-house facility.