DO I HAVE TO PAY THE MOBILE PHONE IMPORT TAX?

When you put your Lebanese SIM card into a phone bought overseas, you may have to pay tax on the phone or risk being blocked from the network. This tax has been affecting parents in our community. So here’s how the rules (probably) apply to you, and links to more info.

What if I’m a diplomat? / A diplomat’s spouse?

Moms tell us there is an exemption for the diplomatic community, including UN personnel, depending on the residency you hold. It’s not automatic though. You’ll need to submit info to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get exemption – check with your embassy/mission’s protocol department. 

What if I have residency in Lebanon as an expat?

Well done for having the right visa paperwork. But you still have to pay. Sorry.

What if I am Lebanese living abroad and just back for the holidays?

Not clear. You probably have to pay.

What if I’m here on a tourist visa?

If you are being cheeky with the visa rules, it might be wise to pay rather than get into (more) trouble.

Hey! I’m an actual tourist!

Amazing – then enjoy your holiday and don’t worry about it – unless you’re planning to come back to Lebanon with the same phone in more than 90 days. In which case, best to check the rules by calling 111 or asking at Libanpost.

Shouldn’t parents be exempt? Our lives are complicated enough already.

Preach it, friend! Can we also please request: free foot massages, automatic upgrade to Business Class (not the kids, though, thanks), and dedicated traffic-free lanes on all highways.


Note: this article is based on internet research, and what we’ve heard about town. Please make sure you have the correct information before taking action! The government’s official FAQ is online here. Subscribers to Touch or Alfa can dial 111 for further information. There’s also a great summary of the issue on Blog Baladi, and Gino’s Blog has some slightly more political views on the matter. If you have more information or experiences to share, please comment below and we will share it!



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