Gov’t to Issue Regulation to Combat “Illegal” Cell Phones
The Government is drafting regulations to verify International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) with Mobile Subscriber Integrated Services Digital Network Number (MSISDN) or mobile numbers. The regulations will be in form of Regulations of the Minister of Industry, Minister of Trade, and Minister of Communication and Informatics and are expected to be signed in mid-August 2019.
“The Government aims to combat cell phone black market to boost taxes and to foster a well-developed mobile industry,” Minister of Communication and Informatics Rudiantara said during a talk show at the office of Ministry of Communication and Informatics, Jakarta, Friday (2/8).
The Minister expressed hope that the three regulations will develop national telecommunications industry, adding that several countries have implemented the IMEI validation for mobile phones, which boost state revenues from taxes and protect consumers.
Rudiantara went on to say that illegal cellphone trade will harm consumers, industry and the country, so that the Government will issue the regulation as soon as possible.
From the commercial aspect, the circulation of illegal cell phones will affect the trading of electronic devices and in turn affect state revenues. The Indonesian Cellular Association (APSI) estimates the circulation of illegal cellphones bring a potential tax loss of around Rp2.8 trillion per year.
The calculation is based on production of new cell phones. Every year, 45 million new cell phones are produced and it is estimated that 20%-30% of them (nine million units) are circulated in black market. With the average price per unit Rp2.2 million, the value of total new cell phones in circulation reach Rp22.5 trillion.
The implementation of IMEI and MISDN validation regulations, according to Rudiantara, will take place in three stages. The first stage will be the enactment of three ministerial regulations while the second stage is preparation.
“In the (second) stage, the Government is preparing SIBINA (National IMEI Database Information System) to synchronize data with cellular operator’s data. The Government will also conduct dissemination and preparation for customer service centers. The first and second stages are expected to be completed in August 2019,” Director General of Resources and Equipment of Post and Information Technology (SDPPI) of Ministry of Communication and Informatics Ismail said.
The next stage is the implementation stage conducted by the telecommunications operator by sending a notification to duplicate IMEI holder to prove the authenticity of the device.
Ismail added that three Government Ministries are responsible to oversee the IMEI implementation. “Ministry of Industry has the task of preparing database and SIBINA as well as the IMEI verification and validation procedures. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Communications and Informatics has to ensure operators to provide ”lost and stolen” services and a liaison system between SIBINA and EIR, and Ministry of Trade will guide traders to register IMEI stock in SIBINA,” he said.
Translated by: Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Edited by: Mia Medyana