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Action to detain consignment is a death knell for exports, Vivo

Chinese mobile phone company Vivo has alleged that the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has stopped the company’s consignment at Delhi airport and such action is a death knell for company’s export from India, according to industry body ICEA’s letter to the government.

Vivo in an email to India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) has alleged that the DRI has detained the consignment of 26,840 mobile phones and is checking IMEI number of the handsets after opening the seal of their boxes, which is making them unfit for export.

“The entire consignment is currently scattered at the Delhi airport, and is no longer fit for exports, until it has again been moved to factory, undergone complete inspection and then repackaged. This being the festive season, this action by the DRI rings a death knell for us exporting out of India unless the DRI actions at the airport do not cease immediately and our goods released,” Vivo wrote in the email to ICEA.

The communication is part of ICEA representation before the Ministry of Electronics and IT expressing concern on the action of DRI.

An email query sent to Vivo and DRI elicited no response.

ICEA, in a letter to Alkesh Kumar Sharma, secretary in the Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity), informed that Vivo Mobile India Private Limited is found to be struggling to export mobile phones out of India due to harassments meted out by a few of the field officers.

“The packed export bound mobile phone boxes have been forced to be opened and being asked to verify/match the IMEI number with the box. IMEI numbers verification on exports have no legal relevance in Indian context and if required is also subject to the importing nation,” ICEA Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo said in the letter dated December 2.

He said that with consistent efforts of Meity and industry, the Indian mobile phone industry is now manufacturing handsets worth Rs 2.75 lakh crore and exporting mobile phones of around Rs 45,000 crore as part of ambition of the prime minister to make India as the global manufacturing hub for electronics products.

“We as a nation cannot afford to allow emergence of a scenario, whereby, some officers from the enforcement agencies can derail this process through some unilateral and preposterous actions which can disillusion global companies,” Mohindroo said.

Vivo in the email to ICEA shared that despite stiff resistance from China teams, it has been able to carve out a list of countries including Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Nepal to service them from India unit.

“Despite stiff resistance, we managed to convince the China factories, and finally start export operations from November 2022. It came as an unpleasant surprise to have the DRI have our consignment of 26,840 handsets indicted and a 100 per cent physical inspection carried out on the consignment starting from Nov 26, 2022,” Vivo informed ICEA.

The company in a letter dated December 1 said that out of eight sealed and packed consignment, two have been fully opened and preparations are on to open the third. PTI

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