Duplicate, clone, refurbished or illegally imported phones are not strictly regulated by law till now in Bangladesh. Grey market or so-called “unofficial phones” are being sold openly all over the country. Many consumers are attracted by their cheap price and end up buying those devices not knowing the consequences of it. Now, Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association (BMPIA) is staring a government service to detect such phones.
BMPIA will create an IMEI database of legally imported official phones with shortcodes. The buyers will be able to verify their purchase by sending an SMS to a specific number which will be communicated after the service is available. After this, the usage of all unregistered phones will be prohibited. If someone still uses an unregistered device, their SIM card can be deactivated. If they change the SIM card, the phone can still be located. Another advantage is that, if a registered phone is stolen, it can be located easily.
The question was asked that many people bring phones from foreign countries as gifts. How about those phones? The information was given that, a private person can bring five phones from a foreign country for individual use or as gifts. Two of them will be tax-free and three of them will be taxed in the airport. There will be a system to register those phones as well.
It is expected that, after the service starts, illegal and duplicate handset import will completely stop in Bangladesh. The legal importers and businesses will flourish and the government tax will increase. It shall contribute to a better economy and create a more pleasant business environment in the country.