Cell Phones: Import Tax Increases to 8%

In the Dominican Republic, the Directorate General of Customs decided to increase from 3% to 8% the tax on imports of mobile communication equipment.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The initial decision was to increase to 20% the tax on the import of cell phones, however, after the measure generated objection, the General Directorate of Customs (DGA) decided that finally a tax of 8% will be applied.

See "Central America: Cell Phones Market Up to March 2018" and "Communication radio purchases up 16%"

From the DGA press release:

Based on what is established in Law 146 of the year 2000 and its modifications, which approves the Customs Tariff, and the amendments to the Harmonized System for the Designation and Codification of Goods, a document in which the 20% tax on mobile communication equipment was established since then, the General Directorate of Customs (DGA) finally ordered that 8% be applied.

When the decision was announced to adjust the levy to what had been established in the existing tariff since 2000, annulling the administrative decision which reduced it to 3% in 2005, the institution had stated that, in accordance with the openness and receptiveness which characterize the current management, it remained determined to receive arguments from the related sectors and assured that, although the measure was ready, it would analyze the presentations.

And so it was. It weighed the utility and service of these devices today, and took into account the parameters of the region in this matter, so reduced the increase to 5% on the tax that was being applied, finally establishing 8%.

In addition, it provided that all imports of these items in ports, airports or en route to the national territory at the time of the provision, not be affected by the increase and apply the 3% tariff.

Since the initial adjustment of the cell phone charge generated confusion and unhealthy information, Customs pointed out that the measure only applied to cell phones, not to accessories or any other complement.

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New Rules for Cell Phones´ Imports

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Now importers of mobile devices in the Dominican Republic must submit a Letter of No Objection before being able to collect imported equipment from Customs Offices.

From a statement issued by the Dominican Telecommunications Institute:

December 8, 2017. The Dominican Telecommunications Institute, together with the General Directorate of Customs, has recently adopted new provisions to regulate the importation of cell phones into the Dominican Republic, by requiring the issuance of a Letter of No Objection to withdraw imported equipment from customs offices in the country, and so that they are in the register of equipment approved by the Institution. The measure is the result of concern on the part of the Telecommunications Regulatory Body over preventing the illegal commercialization or contraband of these devices, and in this way discourage the importation of equipment which has been lost or stolen mobile from outside of the national territory. 

Cell Phones in Central America: A $590 million business

December 2017

Between January and June 2017, the region imported $590 million worth of mobile phones, 10% more than the imports in the same period in 2016.

Figures from the information system on the Mobile Phone Market in Central America, compiled by the Business Intelligence Unit at CentralAmericaData: [GRAFICA caption = "Click to interact with the graphic"]

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