Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has requested the suspension of a new tax regime that would have compelled consumers to pay a levy equivalent to 33 percent of the cost of any imported phone or tablet purchased from mid-October as import duty. Citing the official statement, Investir au Cameroun reports that the President’s decision will force the government to rethink the method of collection of the new tax, which was supposed to rely on a new online platform developed by data management firm Arintech.
Introduced by the 2019 finance bill, the duty would have reportedly been collected by the country’s mobile operators via deductions from consumers’ call credit, using IMEI numbers to identify taxable devices.
The country’s association of mobile operators (AOTMC) had urged a rethink of this process, highlighting a number of technical problems with Arintech’s new online platform. It is proposing an alternative method of collection that would, among its other benefits, better inform and protect consumers.
According to Investir au Cameroun, the 2019 finance bill also stipulates an additional measure to increase tax receipts from imported products, consisting of a fixed duty of XAF 200 (approximately EUR 0.30) for taxable mobile applications once downloaded onto a consumer device.