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Mumbai Customs issues clearance to three Dell importers

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Sandhya
New Update

The Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai, last month directed Dell India to compensate the three importers by paying demurrage and warehousing charges after finding out that around 500 Dell laptops, imported by Venktron Digital Systems, Sapphire Micro Systems and Momentum Technologies from China, were genuine and were not prohibited under the law.

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Following the ruling against Dell India, the three importers filled bills of entry for import clearance of Dell laptops of the impending Dell laptops of different models. Since the issue in all the three cases was the same, a common order was passed by the custom which came a big relief for the importers caught up in the fiasco.

Speaking candidly to The DQ Week, Sandeep Kanwar, CEO, Momentum Technologies said, "Since 2007, we have been in the business of importing laptops, tablets, All in One PC of brands like HP, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung and Acer. This is the first experience in last 5 years of my imports. It was sheer frustation on part of Dell India to act against importers like us who import Dell Laptops. Let Dell India be fair enough to compete with all importers on competitive prices rather than using the other way which they had tried on us and making their products monopoly selling by trying to stop parallel imports which is undoubtedly in favour of healthy markets as the price is MOP is lowered by bringing in better prices from around the globe."

When asked about his plans to import Dell products in the future, he categorically said, "Yes, we will continue to import Dell products until the product is in public demand. In a free trade environment there should not be any restriction on movement of goods worldwide."

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In its defense submitted to the Custom department, Mumbai, Momentum Technologies in its plea stated that for the purpose of Trade Mark Act, section 29(1) and 29(6) of the Trade Mark Act, 1999 should not be referred in isolation but section 30(3) should also be taken into account.

All the suspended products were certified by an independent approved charted engineers, which later found that laptops bearing the Dell brand were genuine products manufactured by Dell in China.

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Meanwhile, when The DQ Week contacted Ajay Singhania of Venktron, he refused to comment on this issue at this juncture.

Viren Bavishi of Sapphire called the entire episode as 'Dell harassment on small importers."

"This custom order is just a tip of an iceberg, we have yet to file for our claims. We don't want to comment whether we will continue to import Dell products," he stated.

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Kanwar also added that, "It was a challenging task to clear the issue with Customs department. Since both Venktron and Sapphire are based out of Mumbai, they tackled with custom and Dell very diligently. We had to take help of lawyers and legal advisors to understand the laws of land. I am glad at last it was fruitful and we now understand our trade even better."

The bone of the contention for importers is that in custom order, it is not very explicit on what ground custom has released importers suspended materials.

Moreover, importers are waiting for custom department to cancel registration of Trade Mark vide Unique Permanent Registration Number (UPRN) A0474INDEL4TM by Dell India.

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