17 November 2020
The Bank of Central African States (BEAC) has responded to Cameroon’s plan to utilise telecom services to automate the collection of import duties and relevant taxes on mobile phones and other electronic devices.
Officials had set October 15, 2020 as the date to roll out a new collection platform managed by Artificial Intelligence Technology (ARINTECH) SARL.
The platform was expected to be interconnected with the servers and network systems of mobile network operators in Cameroon.
Once a phone connects to any of the networks, the platform will automatically detect its IMEI number and if it realises that it is a first-time connection, a message will be sent to the phone owner notifying him/her of the amount of customs duties and taxes to be paid.
Users would then have the option of making a one-off payment in full or in instalments, using their airtime.
However, the project has now been deferred following national outrage.