Cell Phone Import Tariffs Unsettling
Sci & Tech

Cell Phone Import Tariffs Unsettling

The head of Tehran's electronic appliances guild has said that tariffs on mobile phones coming into the country are hindering official imports. Ibrahim Dorosti told ISNA that when phones are imported, an accumulative levy of 20 percent is added to the cost of the electronic item. This, he said, is the main reason why legal importers are unable to compete with smugglers of contraband cell phones. Reducing legal import tariffs would also benefit the government in the long run as the measure will rasie more revenue, he commented. Nearly 85 percent of cell phones each costing more than 4 million rials ($120 at market exchange rate) are smuggled into the country. Tariffs on cell phone imports suddenly increased under former President Ahmadinejad's administration, after the former minister of industry, Alireza Tahmasbi said that "Domestic manufacturing of cell phones needs to start to enable the country to compete with the world's largest brands." The move led to a hike in prices and flooded the market with smuggled phones.

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