The government of India has issued a new mandate to register the IMEI number of all mobile phones. Starting January 1, 2023, all mobile phone manufacturers are ordered to register the IMEI number for every handset made for the Indian market with the Indian Counterfeit Device Restriction (ICDR) portal. The step is taken to control the rising incidents of black marketing, fake IMEI numbers, phone thefts and phone tampering.
All mobile phones, regardless whether locally manufactured or imported, must be registered and issued IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity Number) certificates by the Department of Telecommunications’ Indian Counterfeit Device Restriction portal. The statement has been issued under the Prevention of Tampering of the Mobile Device Equipment Identification Number (Amendment) Rules, 2022.
The official notification issued by the government states, “The international mobile equipment identity number of the mobile phone imported in India for sale, testing, research or any other purpose shall be registered by the importer with the Indian Counterfeited Device Restriction portal (https://icdr.ceir.gov.in) of the Government of India in the Department of Telecommunications prior to import of mobile phone into the country.”
In case you didn’t know, IMEI is a 15-digit code that is issued to every mobile phone. This number is like a unique ID used by service providers to uniquely identify valid devices. The ID helps the police to identify mobile numbers in case of theft.
How to check your phone IMEI number
To check the IMEI number of your phone dial *#06# from your phone. If your phone doesn’t have an IMEI number, then the phone is fake. So, always check for the IMEI number before buying any mobile phone.
Every year, thousands of mobile phones get stolen or lost. The crime of selling smartphones on the black market, or putting fake IMEI numbers is also increasing. With a fake IMEI, it is difficult to track a phone. With the new guidelines by the government, it will be easier to track a phone and the police will also be able to check smartphone theft or related crimes in the country.
To prevent the proliferation of stolen devices, the government has launched the Indian Counterfeit Device Restriction (ICDR) system and established the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) program to block and trace lost or stolen mobile phones. Currently, the portal has only enabled the blocking facility of stolen or lost mobiles.