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India to ban phones which do not display radiation levels

From September 2013, India is most likely to ban import of all mobile phones which do not display their radiation emission levels. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade will be issuing a notification asking for mandatory disclosure of specific absorption rate (SAR), as a pre-condition for future handset imports.

The handsets will have to display the SAR value, which stands for the radiation level emitted by a cell phone. This is somewhat similar to how the International Mobile Equipment Identity number is available on handsets imported into India. The radiation of handsets varies from phone to phone and is measured in terms of SAR level.

New rules were announced in 2012 and the radiation limit for imported handsets is pegged at SAR value of 1.6 watts per kg. Rita Tiwathia, the additional secretary said, “DGFT may be requested to notify import of mobile phones with the prescribed SAR value in continuation to its earlier notification, prohibiting import of cellphones without the IMEI number”.

The industry experts who are present at the meeting expect the DGFT notification to come within weeks as the new handset emission rules will come into effect on September 1, 2013. Representatives of Nokia and Samsung have claimed that their handsets have a provision to display the revised SAR value.


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