• Sat. Oct 16th, 2021

TRC hailed for consumer protection against illegal smartphone trade

Smartphone customers in Sri Lanka will be protected from illegal smartphone imports owing to a revolutionary gazette issued by TRCSL (Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka). The Gazette Extraordinary 2196/51, issued in December 2020, stipulates that the Type Allocation Code (TAC) letter issued to the manufacturer from GSMA, as a mandatory requirement for all smartphone imports. In essence the import control with TAC requirement, denotes the authenticity and originality of all imported smartphone handsets to the country. 

The implementation of TAC requirement, permitted authenticity verification of the handsets and enabled good network performance, prevent distortion and degradation of network, avoid interference, and preserves network integrity due to the growth of smartphone usage.

According to an industry leader the TAC requirement enables smartphone customers to purchase a genuine device hassle free. Through genuine imports, local buyers not only gain access to genuine product but also are able to collect all accessories from the retailer. If the smartphone handset did not face this screening the buyer has to undergo the hassle of obtaining necessary approvals by themselves to qualify for a warranty of service -which is tedious and time consuming.

Customers are protected over a substandard product and product warranties, the Customs and the Government benefit in terms of tax collected. Furthermore the phone identification data importers are ensured that no cheap, emulations of their phone handsets run amok in the marketplace. The regulation impacts all stakeholders of Sri Lankan smartphone market including the importers who bring down the phones legally, the government and the consumer.

The screening eliminates dumping of inferior or sub-standard handsets to the market, importers –who promptly pay import taxes for imports-can prove the original quality of the phones imported and sell-thanks to TRCSL.

The demand of smartphone usage continues to surge as a result of the continuous innovations in communications and connectivity. 

TRSCL is hailed for not only ensured that the bulk of these arrivals were conforming to international standards of quality but were also genuine and authentic products from the indicated global brand.

In 2020, Sri Lanka has spent US$ 408 million on smartphone imports. While the value of imported devices was US$ 408 million, the “volume” of the imported tabs and smartphones in 2020 was approximately 1500 metric tons.

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