ISLAMABAD - Cell phones importers, who did not take into consideration the Pakistan Telecom Authority’s orders to not to import phones without IMEI numbers, will now probably face huge losses as their shipments will not be cleared.

Not only the importers will face the consequences for this negligence but at the same time there might be a shortage of cheap-priced mobiles, which were getting very popular among the common people, in the market.

PTA had put a ban on sale of cellular devices with no design and International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) details. The decision was made because such mobiles were a security threat as these cellular devices were not possible to detect due to non-presence of IMEI number.

PTA also had directed the Customs officials through Federal Board of Revenue that it must not clear the consignments of cellular phones provided the importer did not submit International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) to the authority. PTA had requested Customs department to clear the phones after its approval. In the start PTA had relaxed the rules to increase the import and sale of inexpensive mobile phones. But meanwhile it had issued clear orders that the importers must take into the consideration the rules applied by the authority.

It is pertinent to mention here that there are dozens of importers those presently are in a fix due to non-clearance of their consignments from the port.

As per technical details every mobile phone has an individual IMEI number that is unique to it, and can be conveniently located with the right software. With this number, law enforcement agencies can work with service providers to retrieve stolen phones while service providers can block stolen mobile phones from functioning. The IMEI number is issued from Spain-based Global System of Mobile Association (GSMA). Billions of mobile phones of different brands being used around the world today are registered with the GSMA.