Iran launches cellphone registration scheme to tackle smuggling
Iran has launched a long-awaited national scheme to curb the huge and growing market for smuggled cellphones.
Under the scheme, cellphone users in the country need to register their devices with the country’s telecommunications user database, local media outlets reported.
Meanwhile, Iran Customs Administration has imposed a 5-percent customs duty on the imports of cellphones. The importers of cellphones also need to pay the 9-percent value added tax (VAT).
According to the media reports, those devices not registered with the database will be considered contraband and will be rendered unusable in the country.
According to Iranian officials 12.5 million cell phone devices are smuggled into the country depriving the government of $350 million in tax revenues.
The officials have estimated that worth of $2.5 billion of phone devices are smuggled into the country per year.
The annual demand for phone devices in the Iranian market is reportedly about 14 million devices and about 90 percent of this amount is smuggled into Iran.