The federal cabinet on Friday will grant approval for implementation of Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) from November 26 to block unverified/fake IMEIs mobile phones.
The government will also approve introduction of an amnesty scheme for smuggled/ mobile phones with fake/duplicate IMEIs.
However, Chairman PTA Mohammad Naveed told this scribe that the summary was presented for the last meeting but was deferred. It is expected that the deadline of November 26, may be extended till end November.
He said that the objective behind the DIRBS is stop smuggled and phones with fake IMEIS as it is not only resulting in huge loss to the national exchequer but also posing security threat.
The cabinet will consider a six items agenda including, “Revision of GoP policies to enable import of used mobile devices and prevention of smuggling through implementation of DIRBS by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)”, submitted by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication.
According to the summary, the import policy order, 2016 will be amended to allow the import of mobile devices (having SIM/IMEI functionality) subject to the following condition,
- used devices which offer 3G, 4G and next generation technologies will be importable;
- such devices shall be models which are already PTA type- approved and having valid GSMA IMEI etc;
- the clearance of these devices shall be subject to certification of above conditions through certificate of compliance (CoC) issued by PTA;
- in case of non-fulfillment of above requirements, importers (commercial/individual entities etc) may be allowed to re-export such devices by customs authorities.
Further PTA shall revise its regulations allowing all entities to import mobile devices models type-approved by PTA after issuance of CoC.
The used mobile devices shall be subject to the same rates of leviable duty/ taxes as are applicable on new mobile devices. A mechanism for assessment of duty/ taxes on used mobiles devices will be worked out by FBR in consultation with Registered Mobile Associations.
DIRBS will be implemented/made functional on 26th November, 2018 and all mobile devices already active on Cellular Mobile Networks within Pakistan as of 26th November, 2018 shall remain operational without service disruption till the useful life of the device.
The mobile stocks available in the local markets which are not activated by 26th November, 2018 on Cellular Networks will be allowed to regularize on payment of leviable duty/taxes on or before 31st December, 2018 after furnishing of CoC issued by PTA. No fine shall be imposed on such devices.
The disposal of confiscated mobile devices (new/used) through auction by Customs authorities shall be subject to issuance of technical evaluation certification/CoC by PTA. Such devices will accordingly be White-listed in DIRBS.