The Indonesian government recently issued new laws that effectively bars distributors in its country to sell smartphones that are imported illegally. The goal behind the laws is reportedly aimed at encouraging investors to product mobile devices in the country.
Airlangga Hartarto, Indonesia’s Minister of Industry also says that the new laws were in place to protect investors from the black market, and thus encourage the forming of a fair trade market.
The Indonesian government plans to run the regulation by checking on the mobile phone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). According to CNN Indonesia, any IMEI that isn’t officially registered will not work with any of Indonesia’s telcos.
Indonesian smartphones users can check their phones via a designated website to see if their phone is legally imported. Additionally, users with illegally imported phones are given six months to register their phones before getting blocked.
The illegal sales of smartphones are a big and lucrative business in Indonesia. Year on year, approximately 60 million smartphones are sold on the black market, costing the Indonesian government nearly 2 trillion rupiahs (~RM592 million) in loss revenue.
For Indonesians travelling abroad, a maximum of two phones will be allowed per person and will be required to pay the appropriate value-added taxes for them. The tax payment receipt will be used in order to register the imported phone.
(Source: Reuters, CNN Indonesia // Image: Reuters, Tribunnews)
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