Lanka to block mobile phones illegally imported

All imported mobile phones to be registered with TRC

A new system to block illegally imported mobile phones will be introduced by the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), The Island newspaper reported.

All imported mobile phones should be registered with the TRC, said TRC Director General Anusha Pelpita on Tuesday (16) to The Island adding that they were required to meet certain safety regulations. 

“The commission will give a certain time period for registration. Those who fail to follow the TRC’s rules will face permanent disabling of their phones by blocking the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers from the networks as the TRC possessed all the IMEI numbers of phones imported into the country,” said Pelpita.

He explained that disrupting the mobile phone business was not the aim of the TRC but to regulate it to maintain high standards and protect customers.

An estimated eight million of the 15 million phones currently used in the country had been illegally imported, stressed Pelpita and said thereby depriving the Government of taxes.

Around 15 per cent tax on each phone had to be paid by the genuine mobile phone importers and according to him many traders avoid purchasing the TRC’s annual permit of Rs10,000/- to sell mobile phones.

In future, consumers of mobile phones would be able to verify whether the equipment they purchased had been duly registered or not, by using an SMS facility, Pelpita added.

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