Egypt’s Customs Authority denies entry of Bluetooth headphones pending Telecom Regulator’s approval

Mohamed Alaa El-Din
3 Min Read

The Egyptian Customs Authority (ECA) has denied the entry of several shipments containing Bluetooth headphones pending the National Telecom Regulatory Authority’s (NTRA) approval, which caused confusion among the importers.

Importers believed that headphones could be classified as communication devices, so they did not require an approval from the NTRA.

An informed NTRA source said that according to Law No. 10 of 2003, the “type approval” of telecommunication devices was mandatory when importing devices that contain a telecommunication component.

He added, “Bluetooth headphones are a wireless communication device, and accordingly, it is necessary to obtain approval to import and sell them in the local market, just like all communication devices.”

He explained that these devices must be presented before importing them in the form of samples to the NTRA to approve their type and determine whether they conform to the technical specifications approved in the Egyptian telecom market.

According to the law, it is not permissible to import any telecommunications equipment that does not comply with these approved specifications, due to the damage it may cause to the networks of licensed telecommunications service providers, negative effects on the surrounding electrical devices, or damages to the end-user.

The step of adopting the type for telecommunication devices imported into the Egyptian market, including Bluetooth headphones, has not been anything new since the decision was issued in 2007 and the confirmation of the decision in 2019 regarding the commitment to accredit them by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

NTRA approved 309 shipments of telecom devices coming to the Egyptian market in 2020.

NTRA should be addressed after the arrival of the shipment containing communication devices, through the unified customs window. It follows up on the shipment and responds within 24 hours and approves it in case it conforms to the technical specifications or rejects it for not conforming to the technical specifications and informs the importers that it is not valid for circulation and sale in the Egyptian market and must be re-exported.

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