WPC’s ETA Exemption to Expedite Telecom Product Launches in India: COAI

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Earlier, there was a need for mobile phone firms to take the consent for even sample items which they displayed at the time of announcing launches

Telecom industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said the decision of Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) of exempting mobile devices and other equipment from taking pre-import approvals will make the country an attractive destination for launching of products.

“These notifications are noteworthy and a major step towards strengthening ease of doing business (EoDB) in India. This decision of DoT and WPC will definitely facilitate a timely and hassle-free import process of sample devices for various testing and research and development (R&D) purposes,” said Rajan Mathews, Director General, COAI in a statement.

“This will also help equipment manufacturers in timely launching of their new products in India, thereby making the Indian market more attractive to launch new devices,” he added.

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No need for Equipment Type Approval

On February 26, Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC), the spectrum wing of Department of Telecommunication (DoT), had taken the decision to exempt the need for taking Equipment Type Approval (ETA) for tests, samples, prototypes and pre-launch items of wireless equipment that operate in the licence exempted band in the country.

The category consists of mobile phones, electronic notepads, laptops, printers, headphones, speakers, microphones, earphones, scanners, short range devices and accessories, cameras, smart watches, testing and measurement equipment.

Earlier, there was a need for mobile phone firms to take the consent for even sample items which they displayed at the time of announcing launches.

Only self-declaration is enough

The new order will allow ETA by way self-declaration for finished and commercial products. An importer or authorised Indian representative’s self-declaration may be considered as sufficient evidence to process the clearance by customs and central excise authorities.

Mathews further said that COAI is now hoping that such type of reforms would continue. Due to such reforms, the issues surrounding equipment import would be resolved by waiving off the need for licence, which is required for telecom equipment import by licensed operators.

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