Apple to Sue Icelandic State over iPod Touch Skip to content

Apple to Sue Icelandic State over iPod Touch

ipodtouchThe Apple dealership in Iceland has decided to sue the state over the customs categorization of iPod Touch. The Directorate of Customs defines the device as an MP3 player, while the State Customs Committee has acknowledged that it is a handheld computer.

The directorate has the final say and so consumers must pay 32.5 percent in taxes and tariffs on top of the product’s price, while no such tariffs have to be paid for computers that are imported to the country, Fréttabladid reports.

Apple says the device is clearly more of a computer than an MP3 player, pointing out that it can be used to take pictures and videos, browse the internet, send emails, connect to social networks, play computer games, make calls over the internet and more.

Páll Rúnar M. Kristjánsson, the lawyer for the Icelandic Federation of Trade, who represents Apple in this case, says the consequences of this policy are that a number of people buy iPod Touch elsewhere than in Iceland.

Consumers are the real victims, he added, as they have to pay a higher price for the device in Iceland than they should. The state treasury loses out when people buy the device abroad and in many cases avoid paying the VAT when they arrive to the country.

Kristjánsson said it is indisputable that iPod Touch fulfills the requirements to be categorized as a handheld computer and that the directorate bases its evaluation on how they believe the device is marketed.

“Technology keeps progressing and even toasters have MP3 players,” Kristjánsson commented. “The question is whether the Directorate of Customs would classify that device as an MP3 player with toasting abilities?”

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