Economy, Sci & Tech

Mobile Phone Imports Down

Mobile Phone Imports DownMobile Phone Imports Down

Mobile phone imports in Iran have fallen by 17% during the first five months of the current Iranian year (started March 21), according to statistics released by Iran Customs Administration.

The statistics on mobile phone imports do not list the number of phones imported, instead they mention the overall value of the mobiles imported.

Although it is not clear how many phones have entered Iran, the overall weight of mobile phones imported year-on-year shows that the figures have decreased compared to the previous year, ISNA reported.

During the first five months of the current Iranian year, $103 million worth of mobile phones have been imported which, factoring in the fluctuation of rial against the US dollar translates into a 2% decline in value.

For the 30-day period ending August 21, Iran imported $12.5 million worth of mobile phones while the same figure for last year stood at $19.5 million.

The disconcertingly high number of contraband cellphones on the market prompted officials to take several measures for solving this problem. However, it seems that reducing customs clearance time and lowering import tariffs have not had a tangible effect so far.

Officials have talk of taking extreme measures for tackling the issue, some going so far as to suggest cutting off reception to smuggled phones.

According to Masoud Karbasian, head of the customs administration, a surprising measure might be implemented in a matter of months. "The codes for legally imported phones are available with the customs administration and those not registered can be cut off from the network," he said.

Contrary to the statistics released, Karbasian has said the administration's policies have turned the tables in favor of legal mobile phone importers.

"The number of mobile phones imported [during this period] has doubled compared to the previous year," he said.