EghtesadOnline: T he implementation of the Mobile Phone Registry Scheme, in line with e-governance policies, as well as a means to curb the smuggling of cellphones, has generated three times the previous amount in state revenues by customs duties and taxes levied on mobile phone imports.
"The government income from import tariffs and taxes on mobile phone imports was 7.15 trillion rials [$162.5 million] between September 2016 and May 2017. After the Registry Scheme was introduced, between September 2017 and May 2018, the earnings jumped to 21 trillion rials ($477.2 million)," Hamid Reza Dehqaninia, ICT head at the Headquarters to Combat Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Exchange, was reported as saying by local technology news website zoomit.ir.
Besides mobile phones, the scheme is to cover imports of other communications-related electronics in the coming days.
The implementation of the Registry Scheme helped in acquiring intelligence on violators that received subsidized forex rates to import goods. The data was then handed to the Tazirat Organization (a judiciary-affiliated ombudsman dealing with trading offenses, which will investigate the cases and issue orders in accordance with provided documents, Financial Tribune reported.
Aimed at reining in cellphone smuggling, the ICT Ministry, Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Communications Regulatory Authority and the Industries Ministry introduced the Mobile Phone Registry Scheme that bars local operators from offering services to contraband handsets.
Implementation of the scheme was phased to prevent a shock to the huge cellphone market. The final phase came into effect on April 21.
After the implementation, smuggled phones were cut off from the country's network. Law enforcement forces have ever since tightened their grip on the activity of smugglers.
Local authorities use an online IMEI database, or the International Mobile Equipment Identity to implement the scheme. IMEI is a unique number that helps to identify a mobile phone.
Since November 2015, importers of mobile phones are obligated to register the IMEI with the database.
Since the Registry Scheme took effect, importers have been receiving a Registration Code from IRICA (Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration) for each handset after paying the import tariff. Dealers are required to give the code to customers at the time of purchase.