EU looks to tax handsets with GPS or TV functions

Discussions are underway within the European Commission (EC) that could lead to handsets with integrated GPS or TV functions being hit with an import tax of 14 per cent. The idea to impose this new tax is thought to have been proposed by device manufacturers in Germany and the Netherlands worried about increasing competition from non-EU vendors.

 An EC spokesman said devices that incorporated numerous functions, such as GPS and TV, would be more appropriately referred to as "apparatus with multiple functions, including mobile telephony," as they are more than just a cell phone.

The proposal already has attracted criticism from global handset vendors, and trade bodies are suggesting the EC move could increase the price of mobile devices with either, or both, features by as much as 25 per cent.

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