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DoT Requires IMEI Registration of Phones Prior to the First Sale or Import


Before the initial sale or before the import of the device, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has ordered smartphone producers and importers to register the IMEI number of the device on a new portal that is operational from 2020. The Department of Transportation (DoT) on Monday released a notification for the Mobile Device Equipment Identification Number, Rules, 2017 to make it mandatory for smartphone manufacturers to register the IMEI numbers of all mobile devices made in India with the DoT’s Indian Counterfeit Device Restriction Portal (ICDR).

Additionally, before being brought into India, mobile phones brought in for “selling, testing, research, or any other purpose” must be registered with the ICDR portal by the importer, said an ET report. The new regulations take effect for smartphone makers on January 1, 2023, while importers of mobile phones must begin registering IMEI numbers as of September 26, the date the regulations were published.

Every smartphone sold worldwide is given a 15-digit code called the International Mobile Equipment Identity, or IMEI, which is used to identify a mobile phone. It is frequently shared with network administrators and law enforcement officials in order to monitor stolen or compromised handsets. The IMEI numbers can be used by law enforcement organisations to retrieve call detail information and check with network providers about the phone number being used.


The IMEI certificates are issued by the ICDR portal, which became operational in January 2020, for the import of mobile phones through different customs ports. The Mobile Standard Alliance of India’s prior IMEI Cloning and Duplication Restriction System was replaced by the new portal.
Since they must now register with the portal, the amendment, in the opinion of cybersecurity experts, will help reduce the grey market sales of imported devices.

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