The government has illegalized the importation of mobile phones that do not offer a battery life of at least eight hours talk time or lacks a physical manual.
This is contained in new gazetted guidelines aimed at stopping the influx of fake gadgets in the country.
The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) in the latest Kenya Gazette notice said the mobile phone import rules took effect on May 15.
The Gazette notice states that only licensed mobile phone vendors will be allowed to import and distribute mobile phones whose batteries are expected to last a minimum of 24 hours when the gadget is not in use.
In the new guidelines, the licensed mobile phone vendors are required to give a one-year warranty and after-sales support of a further two years for each device sold.
“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 according to Business Daily.
All mobile phones imported must have the manufacturer’s identification mark and model printed on the mobile device in indelible ink and is visible.
Further, samples of devices a vendor intends to import 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#,” further reads the guidelines.
This is government’s new plan to curb counterfeits which in the recent past have been on the rise. They find their way into the market through illegal channels and have cost the consumers and government a fortune.
According to a report by the Anti-Counterfeit Agency, fake goods valued at Sh1.2 billion have been seized in the country in the last seven years.