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Cameroon: Controversial phone tax law goes into application today

New phones and tablets operated on the Cameroonian soil from this Thursday October 15 will be levied a 33% tax in case the customs fees were not paid by importers in application of the 2019 finance law.

The announcement of the enforcement of the law that has to do with the digital collection of customs duties on phones and tablets was made recently in a joint communique signed by the Ministers of Post and Telecommunications and that of Finance.

“Nothing has really changed. The finance law stipulates that telephones as well as digital tablets will henceforth be subjected to a telephone levy, as part of the customs fee. What has been done for this purpose is to dematerialize this tax by setting up a digital mechanism” Post and Telecommunications Minister Minette Libom Li Likeng explained in a tweet after the publication of the communique.

Despite the explanations, many questions have remained unanswered as some Cameroonians took to social media to express their discontent.

As far as implementing the law is concerned, customs officials say after inserting a SIM card in a new phone, the user will be notified through the digital platform on whether or not custom fees have been paid for the said phone or tablet.

If they are yet to be paid, the user will have to choose an invoicing option, either full payment in one instalment or payment in instalments.

In this case, the 33% tax will be levied according to the price of the phone or tablet.

Published on 10.02.2021

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