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Russia is set to implement new regulations regarding the purchase of SIM cards by foreigners and non-citizens, Wego has learned.  The proposed bill, drafted by the Ministry for Digital Technology, Communication and Mass Media, mandates the submission of biometric data to the government as a prerequisite for obtaining a SIM card.


Under the proposed legislation, individuals covered by the bill will be restricted to purchasing SIM cards exclusively from physical telecom locations, with online purchases strictly prohibited. This measure aims to enhance traceability and accountability. Additionally, the bill seeks to limit the number of telephone numbers that can be registered to a single foreigner to ten.

Foreigners currently holding telecom agreements with service providers will be required to adhere to the new regulations. According to the proposed timeline, affected individuals will be notified about the changes by 1 February 2025. Failure to sign a new contract incorporating the biometric data requirement by 1 March 2025 will result in disconnection from telecommunication services.

Furthermore, each agreement will include a unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) code, which must correspond to the device housing the SIM card. If the SIM card is detected in a different device, service providers will deactivate the subscriber’s connection. However, provisions will be made for the reissuance of the IMEI code at any branch of the service provider.

The introduction of these regulations aims to enhance security measures surrounding foreigners’ use of mobile telecommunications services within Russian territory. The Ministry for Digital Technology, Communication and Mass Media has emphasized the importance of safeguarding national interests while ensuring efficient and transparent communication networks.