Telecom

PTA DIRBS: All International Visitors to Pakistan Must Register their Phone’s IMEI

(Last Updated On: 15/12/2018)

It is has been made clear now that all visitor to Pakistani i.e. Overseas Pakistanis must register their device’s IMEI number with PTA in their  DIRBS system. Visitors can avail this service at the airport by filling this form. This also applies to overseas Pakistanis; they must register their phones as well. Please follow the following step to ensure your device is safe to use. All newcomers have 30 days tail period before the device will be blocked. Always check first, if you need the registration.

Steps to Check if Mobile Phone needs registration:

  1. Vist  https://dirbs.pta.gov.pk/
  2. Dial *#06# on mobile phine dial pad to find mobile phone IMEI
  3.  15 digit code will appear
  4. Enter that 15 digita code on Dirbs.pta.gov.pk
  5. Any of status will appear, given below in table.

Example of a valid IMEI Mobile Phone

Steps to Register for Overseas Pakistani or Foreigners:

  1. Download, print and fill the mobile declaration form
  2. Dial *#06# on mobile phine dial pad to find mobile phone IMEI
  3.  15 digit code will appear, note that number
  4. Fill the form with above noted number
  5.  15 digit code will appear
  6. Handover the filled form at Custom Kiosk facility (Available at the airports)
  7. If you didnt submit the form at Airport, you can submit the form to nearest Custom House Office in your city.

Do you really need to register? Not in all cases mobile phones needs registraion.

How to register for Pakistani Residents:

There are three ways a user can register the device.

  • Via SMS by sending the IMEI number to 8484
  •  Through PTA website
  • or via mobile app specially developed by PTA for DIRBS system

When a message is sent to 8484, you will receive the following replies

 

MessageExplanationAction
1. Your mobile device IMEI is compliant (PTA Approved)This message indicates that the mobile device is PTA compliant. You can use this mobile device and continue receiving network services.Your mobile device is PTA approved and fulfills all codal requirements of Government of Pakistan. Such users do not need to take any action
2. Your device IMEI is non-compliant.This message indicates that IMEI of the device is a GSMA standard number however it was brought into the county via informal channels and therefore was not registered at PTA.Users in possession of such mobile devices will be required to use one of the following procedures to get device registered.

International Passengers: Such passengers at the time of arrival can avail the custom Kiosk facility available at the airports for registration of their mobile devices. Prior to arrival users can download and fill the mobile declaration form and hand it over to Customs official upon landing into Pakistan.
All such international passenger who didn’t avail Custom kiosk facility to register their device IMEI, will be required to approach nearest custom house location and declare their device details. After fulfillment of codal requirements, IMEI will be registered accordingly.

Gift/Packages via postal courier services: Individuals intending to bring devices as gifts through courier services will be required to obtain CoC through PTA website https://dirbs.pta.gov.pk/drs and upon fulfilment of the codal requirements, IMEI will be registered accordingly.

Disclaimer: As per policy user can bring the maximum of 5 devices in personal capacity per year.

3. Device IMEI was observed non-compliant as of 1st Dec 2018. IMEI has been paired with your mobile number and device will remain operational.This message indicates that IMEI programmed on your device is non-standard therefore flagged as non-compliant by PTA. However all users of such devices who were observed active on Pakistani mobile networks as of 1st December, 2018 have been paired with their mobile numbers and shall continue to receive services.Such paired IMEIs/mobiles will receive network services on the paired SIMs only.
4. Device IMEI is blocked. Reported stolen.This message indicates that your IMEI is blocked as this IMEI has been reported stolen earlier.If you are the one who has reported this mobile device as stolen/lost earlier and now it is recovered, then contact PTA/CPLC to unblock your mobile device.

What is PTA DIRBS?

Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System’s (DIRBS) objective is to ensure healthy growth of the mobile device ecosystem in Pakistan. DIRBS will provide use of legal devices on the mobile networks. The import, use, and growth of legal devices will improve the quality of mobile service to consumers, preserve network resources of the mobile operators, provide better security and ensure the protection of intellectual property rights. PTA will make sure that only type approved, and legal devices are operational over mobile networks in the country.

FAQs About DIRBS

Abbreviations used in the FAQs

CoC: Certificate of Compliance to Technical Standards for Mobile Devices (having SIM/IMEI functionality) issued by the PTA
DIRBS: Device Identification Registration and Blocking System
DRS: Device Registration System
DVS: Device Verification System
GSMA: Global System for Mobile Communications Association
IMEI: International Mobile Equipment Identity
Mobile Device: Any SIM based devices e.g. Dongle, Mobile phone, Smart Watch, Tablet etc.
PTA: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority

Q1. What is an IMEI?

A. IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity; a unique 15 digit number issued by GSMA (www.gsma.com) to identify SIM based device(s).

Q2. How can I find out the IMEI of a mobile device?

A. IMEI can be found using one of the following methods

  • Dial *#06# from the dial pad of your device and note down 15-digit IMEI number. Both 15-digit IMEI numbers, in case of dual SIM devices.
  • IMEI is printed on the device box.
  • IMEI is printed on the device by removing the back cover and battery.
Q3. What is CoC and why do I need CoC?

A.

  1. A CoC stands for Certificate of Compliance to Technical Standards for mobile devices.
  2. CoCs are issued by PTA, to ensure that mobile device imported into Pakistan fulfills the required technical standards. A mobile device not fulfilling the technical standards could be harmful for the health of users, provide poor service and could degrade the efficiency of the mobile network through which it works.
Q4. What is the procedures for obtaining CoC if I am an individual planning to import for personal use only?

A. Mobile device must meet following technical requirements

ParametersDetails
GSMA Type Allocation Code (TAC)IMEI for device(s) will contain only GSMA TAC
Duplicated/Cloned/Stolen/Counterfeit IMEIMobile devices that contain duplicated/cloned/stolen/counterfeit shall not be allowed for issuance of CoC by PTADetails
QuantityOnly 5 mobile devices in a calendar year will be allowed by an individual

CoC issuance processes for International Passengers
PTA and FBR have established KIOSK at all arrival lounge at all International airports within Pakistan that can be availed for obtaining CoC for mobile devices brought for the 1st time in Pakistan for usage.

  1. For availing registration at Arrival Airport using Customs kiosk, submit each 15 digit IMEI number of mobile device, CNIC/ Passport/ NICOP number (whichever applicable) at Custom Desk/KIOSK. After fulfilment of codal requirements CoC will be issued.

CoC issuance processes for Mobile Devices imported via Courier for personal Usage
PTA and FBR have established KIOSK at all arrival lounge at all International airports within Pakistan that can be availed for obtaining CoC for mobile devices brought for the 1st time in Pakistan for usage.

Mobile device must meet following technical requirements

ParametersDetails
GSMA Type Allocation Code (TAC)IMEI for device(s) will contain only GSMA TAC
Duplicated/Cloned/Stolen/Counterfeit IMEIMobile devices that contain duplicated/cloned/stolen/counterfeit shall not be allowed for issuance of CoC by PTA
QuantityOnly 5 mobile devices in a calendar year will be allowed by an individual

For availing registration via PTA online portal system for mobile devices brought as Gift/Use via postal and courier services etc. applicant will be required to sign up at PTA website: https://dirbs.pta.gov.pk/drs and upload all listed documents

  1. CNIC/Passport Copy of Applicant whose shipment has arrived
  2. Custom/Courier Notice Copy showing details e.g. name of person whose name shipment has arrived, location where consignment is detained etc.
  3. 15- digit IMEI number for Mobile Device(s)

After verification of IMEIs, Certification of Compliance to Technical Standards for a maximum of 5 devices* will be issued.

Q5. Is the limitation of 5 mobile devices according to the type or total number of mobile devices? Can I bring with me 5 dongles, 5 mobile phones, and 5 tablets?

A. No, as per DIRBS SOP, a person is allowed to register up to 5 SIM based devices in a calendar year regardless of their type.

Q6. What is a Compliant Device?

A. A mobile device that fulfils following requirements:

  • Mobile devices type approved/having CoC for IMEI based devices issued by the PTA.
  • Mobile devices with valid IMEIs assigned by GSMA.
  • Mobile devices with unique IMEIs (i.e. the IMEI is not duplicated)
  • Mobile devices not in the stolen/lost lists (reported locally to the PTA and globally to GSMA).
Q7. My mobile device is compliant, do I still have to register it?

A: No, there is no need to register a compliant mobile device as such mobile devices are PTA approved

Q8. How can I know the status of a mobile devices I plan to buy from within Pakistan?

A: There are three different ways to check/verify mobile device status;

  1. SMS: Write 15 digit IMEI in message and send to 8484
  2. Web
  3. Android App:
  4. Please buy device for which status received is PTA Compliant, non-compliant devices will not be allowed to operate on Pakistani Mobile networks.
Q9. Are there any custom duties on imported devices?

A. As per FBR/Custom baggage rules, one device is exempted from custom duties. Remaining devices will be liable to pay all applicable duty/taxes which will be assessed by FBR/Custom officials. For further information regarding duty/taxes, please approach FBR (www.fbr.gov.pk)

Q10. How can I pay custom duties/taxes on the imported mobile devices?

A: The mechanism of payment of duty taxes can be obtained by contacting FBR authorities.

Q11. How and where can I register my mobile device if I forgot to declare it on airport?

A: As per Customs/FBR policy, a passenger may register its mobile device within 15 days from nearest customs collecterate officer near their location, if he/she is unable to do it at the time of arrival at airport in Pakistan

Q12. I am roaming in Pakistan; will I be able to use my mobile device in Pakistan?

A. Yes, Roamers will be able to use their mobile devices as per DIRBS SOP .
System will accommodate visitors to Pakistan from overseas who are here for the short visit for personal or business purpose as following.

  1. A foreign roamer is allowed to continue using foreign SIMs without any time limit and without getting CoC from PTA.
  2. If a roamer starts using local SIM in his/her mobile device, he/she will not be considered a roamer and will be required to fulfil the conditions of a compliant device.
  3. Such user will be notified of the deficiency of his/her mobile device through SMS and will have 30 days to complete the requirements before the non-compliant mobile device is blocked.
  4. If the visitor wants to use local SIM for a period longer than 30 days, he/she is required to get the CoC from PTA.
Q13. Can a mobile device have more than one IMEI number?

A: Yes, a mobile device can have single, dual, triple etc. SIM options, each SIM slot is programmed with a unique IMEI and each IMEI must be registered with PTA.

Q14. In case of mobile device having more than one IMEI number, do I have to register all?

A: It is mandatory to register all the IMEIs of your mobile device. Following is an example of registering mobile device with single and dual IMEIs for reference.
Single IMEI Mobile Device Registration:

Dual IMEIs Mobile Device Registration:

Q15. Can I change my IMEI number?

A: Changing or modifying the IMEI is a fraudulent activity. All such IMEIs will be blocked

Q16. What can I do if my mobile device is snatched/stolen/lost. Can I unblock my mobile device which was snatched/stolen/lost and has been recovered/found?

A: Please click link for reporting stolen mobile devices.

Q17. What is a DIRBS?

A: DIRBS is a system designed to identify non-compliant devices operating on local mobile networks. It automatically registers compliant devices operating on the mobile networks and eventually blocks non-compliant devices

Q18. What is a DVS?

A: It is a peripheral system of DIRBS through which compliance status of a mobile device can be checked. There are three different ways to check/verify mobile device status;

  1. Web
  2. Android App:
  3. SMS: Write 15 digit IMEI in message and send to 8484
Q19. What is a DRS?

A: It is a peripheral system of DIRBS through which an individual or a commercial importer can apply for CoCs. DRS can be accessed online: https://dirbs.pta.gov.pk/drs

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