Brazil looks to crackdown on grey market phones

Brazil looks to crackdown on grey market phones

Brazilian telecoms regulator Anatel is exploring the possibility of punishing vendors of grey market devices with fines up to BRL50 million (US$10.5m) per infraction.

The regulator announced it has approved a consultation that will be opened to the public for 45 days once it hits Brazil’s official gazette.

Anatel explained the purpose of more stringent sanctions to put off grey market sellers which it defines as retailers that sell irregular products online. Mobile phones were identified as the main product sold in this market.   

Anatel counsellor Emmanoel Campelo said the formula to calculate the fine composes of several items such as the value of the irregular product, company size, and the amount of stock present.

Anatel substitute president Wilson Diniz Wellisch is backing the consultation and highlighted how the regulator seized 370,000 grey market products in the year ending this March and recorded 340,000 products in the year before.

There are an estimated 3.4 million grey market products in Brazil with an estimated value of BRL394 million if they were commercialised. Grey market products are often not fit for public selling and are originally factory devices that are repurposed with software to connect to services in the countries they are sent to.

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