The Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trades, with the assistance of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has finally carried out the mobile phone registration plan. The plan was introduced ten years ago, however due to the lack of infrastructure in the customs department, it was never put into action.
In the first phase of the mobile registration plan, The IMEI of each phone will be monitored and phones which have entered the country via illicit means will be blocked from the network. The plan has caused a great deal of confusion. It seems however that the government is set to combat the smuggling of mobile phones.
“Annually, we need 10 to 12 million new mobile phones in the country, of which only one million are produced domestically”, said Mohammadreza Dehghaninia, The Director General of Information Technology at the Headquarters for Combating the Smuggling of Goods and Currency, on the eve of the implementation of the “Network Registration and Authentication of Mobile Phones. “Over 9 million mobile phones are imported into the country and 90% of those are smuggled into the country. Based on estimates in 1395 (March 2015-2016), the government loses almost 625 million dollars due to the illegal importation of mobile phones.”
Although Iran Chamber of Guilds is supporting the registration plan, but the efficient procedures are also what they need. Akbar Komeilinejad, Board Member of Iran Chamber of Guilds said: “The time-consuming process of registering orders in customs has led most mobile phone importers to avoid using the system.” The Iran Chamber of Guilds also expects the government to remove the exclusive nature of mobile phone importations.