Indonesian government provide protection for the domestic mobile, computer and tablet industries, including to its users by regulated the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) - Photo by Industry Ministry Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian government provide protection for the domestic mobile, computer and tablet industries, including to its users by regulated the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI).  Its also in line with efforts to suppress the entry of illegal cellphones into Indonesia which has the potential to cause state losses.

The joint regulation has been signed by minister of communication and information, minister of industry, and minister of trade, today (10/18). The regulation will take effect in the next six months from the date it was signed.

The regulations are concerning of the Control of Telecommunication Tools and/or Devices Connected to Cellular Mobile Networks through IMEI, Mobile Telecommunications Equipment Identity Database System, and amendment of Minister of Trade Number 38 of 2019 concerning Provisions on the Instructions for Use and Guarantee of After Sales Service for Electronic Products and Telematics Products.

According to ICT minister Rudiantara, Indonesia has lost over Rp2.8 trillion (US$198.58 million) amid the illegal mobile phone market. He also revealed that the losses was what drives him to sign a joint-ministry regulation. 

Meanwhile, industry minister Airlangga Hartarto said that the government had never mandated a special tariff to protect the domestic industry as it has zero import duties. As of now, domestic and international mobile phones are only subject to a 10 percent value-added tax. 

“We are averting from an unhealthy competition from black market imports as they do not pay the value-added tax,” said Hartarto who hopes the new IMEI regulation will be able to suppress the imports of black market mobile phones. 

He hope that, the policy could drive the electronics industry, especially mobile phone, computer and tablet manufacturers can continue to grow, and spur national production so that it can reduce imported products. Hartarto revealed, that with the agreement of the three ministries, there were several investors interested in entering Indonesia.

“Indonesia has a very large market, with 60 million cellphones per year,” he adds.

The Data showed, in 2018, the domestic computer and tablet industry is capable of producing 74.7 million units, an increase of 23 percent from 2017 which produced around 60.5 million units. In terms of the trade balance, the two products showed a positive trend, with a record export in the January – August 2019 period of $333.8 million, higher than imports in the same period worth $145.4 million.

He continued, the urgency of the enactment of this regulation is also because currently the estimated number of illegal mobile phones circulating in the country around 10 million units per year. For industry, it is feared that it will result in job losses and depreciation of factories and local components, which are worth 10 percent of the direct production costs or equivalent to Rp2.25 trillion. 

“The launch of this regulation is done because the system is very ready. This system will check the data, and the data is in the Ministry of Industry. We have already entered more than 1.4 billion IMEI data,” he claimed.

Rudiantara asserted, that mobile users need not worry about the existence of IMEI regulations. He added, before the rules came into force, various parties could participate in socializing IMEI rules and integrating systems, both those in cellular operators, the ministry and international IMEI systems at the Global Systems Association for Mobile Communications.

US$1: Rp14,100

By Linda Silaen, Email: linda.silaen@theinsiderstories.com