28 Apr 2020 10:08

Russia might require registration of mobile phones in 2021 - paper

MOSCOW. April 28 (Interfax) - A new version of a bill drafted in the Federation Council calls for introducing mandatory paid registration of mobile phones by International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number in Russia in the middle of 2021, national daily Kommersant said on Tuesday.

Paid registration by IMEI number of all mobile devices operating in the networks of mobile providers might begin in Russia as of July 1, 2021, the paper said, citing the revised bill drafted by a group of Federation Council members.

The bill, which has been discussed since January 2019, is going through the final approval process in the Kremlin administration, after which it might be submitted to the State Duma, the paper said, citing three sources.

The bill would require importers and individuals who buy devices abroad independently to register smartphones by IMEI.

Under the new version of the bill, the procedure and amount of payment for registration will be determined by the government, although the initial version capped the price at 100 rubles, the paper said.

However, the new version eases some requirements. For example, devices already in use in Russia when the bill goes into effect will be registered free of charge.

The regulation will not apply to smartphones and other devices with SIM cards purchased for government and municipal needs, the paper said.

Providers will be able to block devices that are not registered or have an IMEI number that is the same as that of another device. Starting January 1, 2024, providers will also be able to block lost or stolen devices, Kommersant said.