India's Toy Import Curbs Yield Success, Exports Stagnate

India's toy import measures yield results, yet export growth remains stagnant, signaling a need for innovation and global partnerships

Chennai: The government measures to curb the inflow of substandard products have successfully reduced toy imports. However, they have not positively impacted toy exports.

India dramatically raised import duties on toys in February 2020. The basic customs duty was increased from 20 per cent to 60 per cent and then to 70 per cent in July 2021.

Quality Control Order (QCO) Implemented in January 2021 mandates toys sold in India, whether domestically produced or imported, must comply with specific Indian Standards for safety. These standards cover various safety aspects such as the prevention of sharp edges, small parts hazards, flammability, and the migration of harmful chemicals. Toys must also carry the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification mark.

India's toy imports decreased drastically from $304.1 million in FY2019 to US$ 64.9 million in FY2024. The steepest decline occurred between FY2020 and FY2022 as imports fell from $279.3 million in FY2020 to and US$ 35.9 million in FY2022. Further, the share of imports from China dropped from 87 per cent of India's total toy imports in FY2019 to 64 per cent in FY2024.

While the curbs were aimed at boosting local industry and ensuring safety, they did not significantly enhance India's toy exports, finds GTRI. From FY2020 to FY2022, exports increased modestly from US$ 129.6 million to US$ 177 million. However, by FY2024, exports had decreased to US$ 152.3 million. China exported toys worth $48.3 billion, securing an 80 per cent share of the global exports. In contrast, India's share in the global toy export market is 0.3 per cent, totaling $ 167 million.

India should invest in research and development to foster innovation in toy design and functionality, positioning Indian toys competitively on the global stage. It should strengthen partnerships between toy manufacturers and design institutes to continuously introduce innovative products and establish specialized toy manufacturing hubs to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

India should invite international toy manufacturers who currently operate in China, such as Hasbro, Mattel, Lego, Spin Master, and MGA Entertainment, to consider setting up production facilities in India. It should also study how China became big in toy manufacturing, added GTRI.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
Next Story