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  Legal aspects to consider when importing and commercializing technological devices and telecommunication equipment in Nicaragua

When introducing certain technological devices and telecommunication equipment to the Nicaraguan market, certain companies usually encounter legal obstacles because they do not take into account certain regulations related to the authorization for the importation, commercialization and use of devices or equipment in Nicaragua. These obstacles usually cause considerable loss of time, which could be prevented if a strategic planning is made that takes into account the national legislation that affects them.

This being the case, it is important to highlight that a commercial agreement with the manufacturer or distributor of the devices will not be sufficient to import and successfully commercialized the devices to Nicaragua, but certain legal requirements regarding telecommunications will have to be met in order to be duly authorized to import the devices and then that they are authorized to operate within the national spectrum. Therefore, according to Nicaraguan legislation, all interested parties must have a Permit to import telecommunication equipment and a Certificate of Homologation, both issued by the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Postal Services (TELCOR).

Import Permit: Any person wishing to import technological devices or telecommunication equipment must be authorized by TELCOR to carry out such activity. This being the case, a Telecommunications Equipment Import Permit must be obtained, which will be valid for one year, subject to renewal. If this permit is not obtained, the interested party will suffer the withholding of its importation by the General Directorate of Customs Services (DGA) and will not be released until such Permission is obtained. The obligation to obtain the Import Permit is set forth in Article 1 of Administrative Agreement No. 16-98 "Regulation of Customs Inspections and Control of Introduction of Telecommunications Equipment".

Certificate of Homologation: In order for imported devices (such as a cell phone, tablet, GPS or router) to be commercialized, used and operated in Nicaragua, they must be approved before TELCOR, in order for it to verify that the technical characteristics of the device will not damage networks that connect or interfere with other telecommunications services, in order to ensure the safety of the user. In practice, this consists of observing that the device has complied with technical standards (national or foreign) such as those of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission of the USA), IFT (Federal Institute of Telecommunications of Mexico) or ANATEL (National Telecommunications Agency of Brazil), to name a few. The device will be duly enabled to operate in the national network once it has been approved. The obligation to homologate the devices is set out in article 90 of Decree 19-96 "Regulation of the Law No. 200 General Law of Telecommunications and Postal Services".

The aforementioned without mentioning the characteristics and particular requirements that technological devices and telecommunication equipment must observe according to their nature, particularly in matters of Consumer Law and Customs, among other areas.

CENTRAL LAW provides comprehensive legal advice in Telecommunications through a team of expert lawyers in the matter. For more information, contact us.

Avil Ramirez Mayorga

Associate Attorney at CENTRAL LAW in Nicaragua

16 Feb, 18