Mobile phone dealers threaten to go on strike over import policy for smartphones

By Shaoor Munir on
December 19, 2018
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President of Karachi Electronics Dealers Association Muhammad Rizwan has threatened to give a strike call to other mobile phone dealers if the government does not change its stance on import and registration of used smartphones.

According to Rizwan, mobile phones worth millions are currently stuck, causing problems in the import of used smartphones. According to the current import policy, which only legally allows import of packaged phones at the moment, is resulting in huge losses for importers and mobile phone dealers.

Rizwan was quick to admit that the phones currently being sold as “used” or “second hand” devices were not imported legally in the first place.

The government currently doesn’t have any well-defined policy for bringing in used smartphones from abroad. According to Rizwan, his association has sent a suggestion to the government regarding a revised policy for import of used smartphones in which the customs duty of 6-month old smartphones is reduced by 60 percent and duty on 8-month old smartphones is reduced by 80 percent. But there hasn’t been any Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) regarding this revised policy.

Rizwan presented the following three demands before the government:

  1. The government should extend the deadline for registration of used smartphones
  2. Instead of requiring a type approval from PTA, GSMA approved phones should be allowed to work normally.
  3. DIRBS should be deactivated until a new law regarding the proper import and registration of used smartphones is passed.

He also warned that failure to meet these demands will leave them no choice but to give a call for a strike to mobile phone dealers all over Pakistan.

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