3 Ministers Issue IMEI Regulation to Combat Black Market



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The regulation on the identification of cell phones through International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) has been passed today, October 18, by three ministers, namely Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita, and Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara.

    “We surely hope this ministerial regulation will suppress the penetration of illegal phones to Indonesia that potentially causes state losses, both for domestic industry and consumers,” said Minister Airlangga at his office, Friday, October 18.

    The Industry Minister explains the bill has been long processed and planned to be passed in August, yet it is halted due to data synchronization, especially with the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA). Following the law issuance, there will be an adjustment period for six months before it fully comes into effect, he added.

    The IMEI, he went on, serves as the identity of mobile phones in the country or aboard as the data in the ministry will be integrated with data from telecommunication operators and GSMA. This way, the Finance Ministry’s Directorate of Customs and Excise could easily check the legal status of phones.

    The minister assured the policy would not hinder the trade activity, but instead encourage healthy competition for industry players in the country and abroad.

    “The distribution of cell phones in Indonesia amounts to 60 million units per year so far. This IMEI regulation can protect the industry,” Airlangga remarked.