Compulsory registration of Phones IMEI before sale from 1 January 2023

Tags: Economy/Finance

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has made the registration of the IMEI (International mobile equipment identity number) of all mobile phones mandatory before their first sale in India on its anti-counterfeit and lost handset blocking portal from January 1, 2023. This includes mobile handsets manufactured in India or imported.

The notification has been issued by the DoT under the Prevention of Tampering of the Mobile Device Equipment Identification Number (Amendment) Rules, 2022.

Significance of IMEI

Every mobile phone comes with a unique 15-digit IMEI number which serves as the unique ID of the device. Whenever a call is made from the phone, the IMEI number is displayed on the telecom network. This helps the law enforcement agencies to track a mobile phone which has been stolen or used by suspected criminals or terrorist. However, due to the presence of counterfeit devices with the same IMEI on telecom is becoming difficult for the law enforcement agencies to track the phone.

The government has launched the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) project to block and trace lost or stolen mobile phones and added Indian Counterfeited Device Restriction (ICDR) system to curb proliferation of such handsets.

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