Government through the Communication Authority of Kenya(CA) has banned the import of mobile phones that do not offer a battery life of at least eight hours talk time. According to the new guidelines aimed at curbing fake gadgets, the sale of phones which lack a physical manual has also been banned. The import rules published earlier took effect on May 15.
The guidelines state that only licensed telecommunications vendors will be authorized to import and distribute mobile phones whose batteries are expected to last a minimum of 24 hours when the gadget is not in use. The vendors are also expected to provide at least a one-year warranty and after-sales support of a further two years for each device sold.
The government has been battling counterfeits coming into the country through grey markets and illegal channels, costing consumers and the government millions annually. A report of by the Anti-Counterfeit Agency indicated that fake goods valued at Sh1.2 billion have been seized in the country in the last seven years.
“Test reports submitted in the Type Approval process as evidence of conformance to these guidelines shall be from a test laboratory accredited under the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC),” said the CA in the new guidelines.
The devices are also required to have the manufacturer’s brand or identification mark and model or type shall be printed on the mobile device in indelible ink, readily visible and legible.
The samples must first be sent to the CA for approval.
“Each mobile cellular device shall have a unique International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI) assigned by GSMA. The IMEI shall be printed on the device, legible and indelible. “In addition, the IMEI shall be retrievable electronically by dialing *#06#,” reads the guidelines.
Two years ago the authority weeded out fake devices in a nationwide switch-off indicating that the phones had not been approved by the regulator.
Fake phones may pose a health risk to users as the unstable material used in making the devices lead to explosion or exposure to radiation. All mobile phones must comply with radiation safety standards.
These regulations are to apply to smart and feature phones.