Bad for business: European Commission ponders import tax on cellphones


Oh, Europe. It seems the European Commission is still trying to figure out if it wants to impose a customs duty of up to 14 percent (a tax, essentially) on imported multifunction devices, most notably cellphones. While such a move may be beneficial to European Taxmen, it’s not exactly something that consumers, or non-European manufacturers, want to hear. Reason being, obviously, that manufacturers would have to pass on this added cost to consumers; consumers will freak out.

This actually dates back about 12 years, when the idea of a “tech tax” (that’s a completely made up phrase) was first proposed. Then the élites got together and instead passed the Information Technology Agreement, which basically said that, in the interest of innovation and the free market they wouldn’t impose the duty. But that was 12 years ago, back when the West was still wealthy and mortgages were still on the up and up. These governments need money now, so what better way than to tax the foreigners? And if you think Nokia, which is based in Finland, is exempt think again, since it manufacturers lots of its phones in eastern Europe, outside of the European Union.

Like everything EU-related, expect this to simmer in Brussels for an eternity.