Rules for verifying and registering unofficial phones

The issue of official and unofficial phones has become the focus of discussion since the government recently issued a policy to ban unofficial phones. However, in certain cases / conditions, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (BTRC) is giving the opportunity to register unofficial mobile phones.

Before learning about the process of making unofficial mobile official, we need to understand the differences between official and unofficial phones. Let's discuss that first.

Best Upcoming Phones in September 2021 in Bangladesh - Official and  Unofficial

What is the difference between official and unofficial phones?

Official mobile phones are those phones which are included in the relevant government database of Bangladesh. The name of this database is NEIR or National Equipment Identity Register. The handsets are legalized in the country by registering the IEMI number of the mobile phone handset in this database. Whether the smartphone is manufactured in the country or imported, if the phone is not registered in the NEIR database, it will be considered as an illegal phone.

Mobile phones imported from abroad by the seller are obliged by law to enter the country's market by paying tax to the government. Mobile phone companies or phone sellers who legally import phones from abroad pay the appropriate taxes to the government and register the phones in the official database. Besides, the phones manufactured in the country are also being registered in this database in the prescribed process. The phones that are being registered are called valid phones or official phones.

On the other hand, the phones that are imported from abroad and sold in the country's market without paying taxes to the government are not registered in the government database. Because in order to register, you have to pay the appropriate tax or go through the prescribed process. So phones that are not registered in the NEIR or National Equipment Identity Register database are called unofficial phones or invalid phones.

Just as unofficial phones deprive the country of a huge amount of revenue, phone owners are harassed to find or take necessary action if those phones are stolen or lost.

From now on, phones that enter the country's market through tax evasion or non-compliance with the policy will not get network service facility after a certain period of time, the BTRC has taken measures. As a result, unofficial phones will not be able to enjoy the benefits of SIM. This problem has become a cause of concern for many when buying a smartphone.

The instructions given on the NEIR page of BTRC say:

Before purchasing any mobile handset in the country, you must check the validity of the handset. An invalid handset will not be considered for special registration under any circumstances. According to the existing baggage rules, a person can bring a maximum of 2 duty-free mobile handsets from abroad and 6 more mobile handsets subject to payment of duty. Only handsets carried in accordance with the Baggage Rules will be considered as subject to special registration.


This means that if you buy an unofficial phone from inside the country, its network will be shut down in the future. According to the existing policy, if you buy an unofficial phone from within the country, you will not be given any opportunity to register it.

However, those phones can be registered if you buy them legally from abroad or if someone buys you a phone from abroad as a gift. In that case a person can register a maximum of 2 phones in his own name without paying tax. Subject to payment of duty or tax, 6 more phones brought from abroad can be registered in one's own name. However, in that case, the documents must be provided in accordance with the government policy.

Problems or risks of unofficial phones

Since the use of unofficial phones has been banned in the country, SIM services from unofficial phones will be discontinued in the future. Although the price is a bit lower than the official phone, there is no guarantee or warranty in the case of unofficial phones. 

Since unofficial phones have no validity, the legal ownership of the phone will not be found even if you buy the phone. Again, if the phone is lost, you will not be able to take appropriate action in case of unofficial phone. In this case, the unofficial phone user can get into trouble himself.

In the case of unofficial phones, it is often seen that old phones are being refurbished and sold. In other words, there are many obstacles in using unofficial phones. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. But it may be a matter of time before that decision is made. So it is better not to buy unofficial phone.

Let us know the details about how to recognize official or unofficial mobile and the rules for registering unofficial mobile.

Ways to recognize official or unofficial mobile

It is very easy to verify the validity of a mobile phone, that is, to verify whether the phone is official or unofficial. IMEI number will be required to verify the validity of the phone. To know the IMEI number of the phone dial * # 06 #. Now write down the 15 digit IMEI number of your phone somewhere.

Then go to the message option of the phone and type: KYD <space> 15 digit IMEI code. Send the message to 16002. The return message will let you know if your mobile phone is in the BTRC database.

If your mobile phone is in BTRC's database, then you understand that your phone is official. Again, if your phone is not in BTRC's database, then your phone is unofficial.

How long does it take to register an unofficial phone?

This has been stated on the NEIR website of BTRC

Legally purchased or gifted mobile handsets at the individual level from abroad will automatically be active on the network. SMS will be provided within 10 days to provide online information or required documents. If the registration is completed within ten days, the handset will be considered valid. If the registration is not completed within that time, the handset will not be considered valid and the customer will be informed about them via SMS and will be connected to the network for the test period. If the trial period has elapsed, further action will be taken as per the decision of the government.


Rules for unofficial mobile registration

Special application for registration can be made using the unofficial mobile phone brought or gifted from abroad using the website provided by BTRC.

To apply for an unofficial mobile special registration, you must first open an account on the National Equipment Identity Register's website. To open an account on that website:

  • Log in to
  • Then click on the Register button to open an account on the National Equipment Identity Register website.
neir account registeration
  • Then correctly enter your name, mobile number in the box that appears
  • Provide a password for the account
  • Fill out the captcha
  • Then an OTP will come to your given number, provide it
  • Complete the account registration process by providing the captcha

After opening an account on the National Equipment Identity Register's website, you can apply for your unofficial mobile registration. To apply for unregistered unofficial mobile registration, first activate the network by inserting a SIM card registered in your own name on the phone. Then follow the steps below:

Rules for unofficial mobile registration
  • Enter the IMEI code of the phone you want to register
  • You can easily find out the IMEI code of the phone by dialing * # 06 # from that mobile
  • Then select whether you bought your phone as a gift or received it by airmail
  • Add passport / purchase receipt / tax receipt / immigration clearance / national identity card, etc. / as applicable attachments depending on how you got the mobile
  • Once all the documents have been added, complete the special registration application by clicking the submit button.

A notification from the BTRC's registration site (shown on the right of the screenshot above) states that after June 30, 2021, unofficial handsets purchased from local stores will not be considered for this special registration. And in the future, their network may be shut down. However, the final decision may be known in the near future.

Update 30 September 2021: BTRC announced in a post on their Facebook page that "from 1 October 2021, all illegal handsets newly connected to the network will be disconnected." Here is a screenshot of the whole post .

btrc guideline unregistered phones

Verify the current status of the handset registration process

The current status of the handset's registration process can be verified very easily after the registration application. To verify the current status of the mobile handset used:

  • Dial * 16161 # from mobile
  • Reply by entering the option number specified for Status Check
  • Then enter the 15 digit IMEI number of your handset
  • The yes / no option is actually selected by yes and reply
  • You will then be notified of the update status of your phone in a return SMS.

Here are some commonly asked questions about how to legalize an illegal phone:

What is the rule to make unofficial phone official?

Conditional in some cases can be made official or valid through unofficial or invalid phone registration process. However, not all unofficial or illegal mobiles will get the opportunity of this process. This phone registration process can be completed as per the rules prescribed by BTRC. The full rules in our post are described with pictures and web address.

Can phones imported from abroad be registered?

If you personally bring a mobile phone from abroad or someone sends it to you for personal use or as a gift to someone, then the phone can be registered if you provide proper documents and information. The decision of BTRC in this regard is final. You will find more details in our post.

You can also find out what to do about your mobile operator's customer care. In that case go to the nearest customer care or call 121.

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