We provide evidence on the firm level productivity effects of imports of intermediates. By exploiting a large panel of Italian manufacturing firms, we are able to separately explore the role of importing from high and low income countries. Importing does not permanently affect the firm productivity growth. This finding holds both when we test for the import entry by means of Propensity Score Matching techniques and when we analyse the import intensity within a dynamic panel data model framework. On the contrary, we confirm the existence of self-selection into importing. Also, our evidence supports the learning-by-exporting effects in Italian manufacturing and we prove that this result is robust to the control of firm import activity.