In recent days, the Deputy Attorney General has asked the Minister of Industry to explain why the import of mobile phones over 300 euros continues despite the legal ban. Saeed Omrani’s request to this government official is in line with the decree announced by the Ministry of Industry to the importers, which was postponed after its publication in the media, and has not been implemented yet. But what exactly is the issue of banning the import of mobile phones over 300 euros and its other margins?
Why does the government say we should not import expensive phones?
Phones over 300 Euros are now almost exclusively for high-end mid-range phones and their price range is around 10 million Tomans or more for the end consumer. The fate of importing such phones from the spring of 1999 has been a problem for the government. At that time, during meetings between the central bank and mobile market activists and the Ministry of Industry, it was decided not to allocate currency to phones over 300 euros so that the government could manage the country’s currency. However, according to the president of the Mobile Importers Association, the government initially intended to ban the import of phones over 150 euros, but they did not allow this because the 150 euro phones (4 to 5 million Tomans) are very small and sometimes of poor quality.
The reason for this decision was that phones over 300 Euros accounted for only 9% of the market volume, while in terms of Rials they were very “currency” and accounted for 36% of the currency allocated to the mobile market. It seems that the government could not allocate nearly $ 2.5 billion to mobile importers like last year, and the figure for this year was almost half of that amount, about $ 1 billion to $ 1.2 billion. It had to be divided by the state of the country, a situation such as the need for low-cost handsets for students.
This decision, however, was not implemented in the end, and the Ministry of Industry and the government completely denied the subject of such a resolution, while according to the letter of the Deputy Attorney General, it seems that such a resolution really existed and was announced. Earlier, the Association of Mobile Importers had also announced that the decree had been approved and announced, contrary to the statements of the Ministry of Industry. You can also see the image of this letter below:
Imports of phones over 300 euros this year have taken 5% of the market volume
One thing to keep in mind is that powerful flagships and intermediaries may have been very popular with the Iranian people in recent years, but in recent years, and especially in the last few months, mobile phones above 300 euros have accounted for a small percentage of imports in the Iranian mobile market. have given. Of these small amounts, many have not been sold in recent months as the dollar has risen and are drying up in shop windows.
Due to the rising exchange rate and the decline in people’s purchasing power, the peer-to-peer system predicts that the number of phones registered above 300 euros in 1999 in the country’s communication network will reach a maximum of only 5%; While more than 25% of the allocated mobile currency is spent on their import. This has caused peers and other organizations to continue to protest the import of phones over 300 euros.
They believe that the import of these phones and the currency spent on their import will make it difficult for the government to import many basic goods. Digito’s follow-up of these people indicates that all of them state the reason for this decision as the lack of currency in the country, and they all agree that if there was enough currency in the country, we would not have faced such problems. The president of the Importers’ Association told Digito about this:
“If the country’s economic situation was right and there was currency to be injected into the market, we would be against it, but we, as mobile importers, see that there is no currency and no currency is to be given. This situation is neither to the detriment of the people nor to the detriment of importers, when 91% of the market demand belongs to phones under 300 Euros, we must try to meet this need and meet it, and it can not be because of a limited 1% “Challenged the entire mobile phone market.”
Is clearing the problem the best solution?
But is eliminating the high-end € 300 handset on the market a logical solution? It seems that the government is currently looking for another solution to eliminate the import of these phones, and the procedure it has taken is very similar to the import of foreign luxury cars.
There have been some rumors among the spokesperson of the 1400 Budget Consolidation Commission that the customs increase of mobile phones over $ 600 was indicated and it was speculated that this measure was taken in order to ban the import of phones over 300 Euros and the leadership’s criticism about the import of luxury mobile goods. Be. Digito has heard, however, that the plan has not yet been approved or is close to being approved, and that there are other options on the table for importing luxury handsets.
Although the peer-to-peer system still insists on the € 300 figure, it is not yet clear exactly at what price range the tariff increase will be applied to the handsets. It is also unclear what percentage will be added to the customs duty and that this figure has been announced. It has not reached certainty from 6% to 12%.
According to Digiato’s research, the increase in customs costs is supposed to make the import of iPhones unprofitable for those who import them in bulk and in passenger, and for this, customs costs should be more than doubled. With this action, the government decides to make sure that if someone wanted to buy an iPhone worth tens of millions of Tomans, he would actually import and buy it as a passenger. This, in their view, creates a massive market for passenger phones for a product like the iPhone.
The official import of the iPhone began in 1999
Until recently, the import of iPhones and other expensive phones in 1999 was mainly for passengers. In fact, anyone who wanted an iPhone had to buy more of their passenger version, but since the last 45 days when the import currency of the phone was allocated to importers, the official import of iPhone has resumed, which has reduced the price of some models by tens of millions. It also became expensive.
It seems that the increase in the official import of iPhones of importing companies has caused the Deputy Minister of Justice to write and ask the Minister of Industry the reason for this official import, despite the fact that it is banned.
There are several reasons why official importers, despite having few customers, tend to import iPhones with the little currency allotted to them. One is that the market is now saturated with economical and mid-range phones and it is very difficult to compete in them, and the market is now less popular with the iPhone but almost suffering from a shortage of goods.
Also, the high profits that these phones bring with them have made some importers continue to be more inclined to import iPhones than the economic models that have more applicants.
Why was the decision of the Ministry of Industry not implemented?
But where is the answer to the main question of this article? An issue that the Deputy Prosecutor himself has asked the Ministry of Industry and has not received an answer to date. In fact, the reason for importing a phone over 300 Euros, despite the announcement of the Ministry of Industry, goes back to various cases, the most important of which, according to several experts and sources familiar with Digito, are groups importing iPhones as passengers.
“The situation in the mobile phone market has been disrupted by 50 major mobile phone market vendors, or in other words, the ‘mobile market mafia’, and they set the prices,” Reza Ghorbani told a news conference on the ban on imports of phones worth more than € 300.
“Their power is so great that they stood in front of a law and it has not been implemented yet,” an informed source told Digito on the same system.
The source was quoted as saying that the leadership had warned about the import of the American luxury phone (iPhone), which was reported in the media amid the import of a phone over 300 euros, and that the Deputy Attorney General had mentioned it in his letter to the current Minister of Industry. A part of the letter reads: “Please announce the reasons for registering the iPhone order and importing it, despite the opposition of the Supreme Leader of the Revolution.”
There is no clear answer as to why this decision, despite the decision and announcement of the Ministry of Industry and the problems announced by the Central Bank in providing the currency needed by the country, and the Deputy Prosecutor General are looking for the same question, but the obvious issue is that the government decides Implement this ban in another way.
Rumor has it that the government wants to make it cheaper to import passenger phones and lead buyers to buy cheaper phones. It is now rumored that, contrary to previous reports, the increase in customs duties will be applied to phones above $ 500, which directly targets the flagship and expensive models, which from the government’s point of view are “currency-free”.
Although today, due to economic conditions, more than 90% of mobile phones turned on by customers in the country cost less than 300 euros, but there is a serious concern that with the start of more serious work of Iranian mobile manufacturers, the mobile market will find conditions such as the car market. . It is understandable that the government does not currently have the currency to import expensive mobile phones, and the problem is that these temporary restrictions may become permanent in the future and deprive people of the latest technologies; The same thing we see now in the car market. The path we are taking now is very familiar.
What do you think about this? Do you agree with the total elimination of the import of several tens of millions of Tomans in the current economic situation, or do you consider the increase of their customs costs to be a better solution to deal with them, and do you consider this path to be fundamentally wrong? Let us know what you think in the comments section.