Indonesia moves to block illegal phone imports

21 Oct 2019

Reuters reports that the government of Indonesia has issued new rules to block the illegal import of mobile phones on the black market, in a bid to drive investment in the domestic mobile phone market. With an estimated 60 million phones sold each year, the government is concerned to stamp out the grey market which it estimates costs the treasury around USD141 million per annum in lost taxes. ‘These [new regulations] are aimed at creating a level playing field,’ said Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto, adding that with this policy, ‘investors will continue to enter Indonesia because their industries are protected from the risks of the black market’. No concrete details on the measures have as yet been published, but it is understood that it will allow mobile users to use a new website to check whether their phones were imported lawfully by inputting their International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.