India's toy imports down 70%, exports up 61% in 3 years

Government interventions in the toys sector, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for `Make in India’ yielded positive results for the sector with import of toys falling by 70 per cent in the last three years, Anil Agrawal, additional secretary, DPIIT, has said.

On the other hand, export of toys from the country jumped by 61.38 per cent
For HS Codes 9503, 9504, and 9505, the import of toys to India has reduced from $371 million in the financial year 2018-19 to $110 million in FY 2021-22, showing a decrease of 70.35 per cent. For the HS Code 9503, toys imports have decreased even faster, from $304 million in FY 2018-19 to $36 million in FY 2021-22.
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 61.39 per cent. For HS Code 9503, exports of toys have increased from $109 million in FY 2018-19 to $177 million in FY 2021-22, Agrawal pointed out.
He was speaking to media during the 13th edition of Toy Biz B2B (Business to Business) International Exhibition from 2-5 July 2022 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. 
In his “Mann ki Baat” address in August 2020, the prime minister had given a clarion call on “Rebranding the Indian Toy Story” and emphasised on making available the right kind of toys for children, using toys as a learning resource, designing of toys based on Indian value system, Indian history, and culture to strengthen domestic designing and position India as a global manufacturing hub for toys, Agrawal pointed out. 
He said the industry had benefitted from a number of interventions by the government and results show the success of `Make in India’ programme. He added that the imports were mainly restricted to some components of the toys.
Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), in its notification dated 2 December 2019, mandated sample testing of each consignment and compulsory quality testing before any sale. In case of failure, the consignment is either sent back or destroyed at the cost of the importer.
Basic Custom Duty (BCD) on Toys-HS Code-9503 has been increased from 20 per cent to 60 per cent in February 2020.
The government issued Toys (Quality Control) Order, 2020 on 25 February 2020 through which toys have been brought under compulsory Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification with effect from 1 January 2021. As per the Quality Control Order (QCO), every toy should conform to the requirements of relevant Indian Standard and bear the Standard Mark under a licence 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 on 11 December 2020 to exempt goods and articles manufactured and sold by artisans registered with Development Commissioner (ministry of textiles) 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 (CGPDTM).
BIS made special provisions on 17 December 2020 so as to grant licence to micro scale units manufacturing toys without testing facility for one year and not to insist on establishing in-house facility.
BIS has granted 843 licences to domestic manufacturers on safety of toys. Out of these, 645 licences have been granted for non-electric toys and 198 for electric toys. In addition, 6 licences have been granted to international toy manufacturers.
All the 96 exhibitors have showcased the diverse product categories, ranging from traditional plush toys, construction equipment toys, dolls, building block toys, board games, puzzles, electronic toys, educational toys, ride-ons, etc. All the toys were ‘Made In India’ products, manufactured by small, medium and large enterprises. Toys bearing the GI tag, such as Chennapatna, Varanasi etc, are also being displayed. 
The exhibition is showcasing toys based on Indian ethos and value system, duly endorsing ‘Vocal for Local’ theme. Each toy category has affordable and high-end versions. This is a major shift from the 12th edition of the exhibition held in 2019, wherein of the 116 stalls, 90 stalls exhibited only imported toys. 
The exhibition witnessed a footfall of over 3,000 visitors from India and international buyers’ delegation from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bhutan, USA etc.