A bill aimed at tightening regulations on SIM card purchases for foreigners has been submitted for consideration to the State Duma (Tajikistan’s lower chamber of parliament).

The bill suggests capping the number of registered numbers at ten per person and limiting purchasing SIM cards to physical telecom locations, Vasiliy Peskov, the head of the State Duma Committee for Security Issues, said, according to RIA Novosti.  

One of the provisions of the bill mandates that foreigners and non-citizens must provide biometric data to the government as a prerequisite for concluding a service contract.

Another notable aspect of the proposed legislation is the inclusion of a unique international identifier (IMEI) tied to each SIM card.  This identifier will be associated with the specific device containing the SIM card.  If the SIM card is inserted into a different device, service providers will be prompted to deactivate the connection for that subscriber.  However, the bill also allows for the issuance of the IMEI code, which can be facilitated at any branch of the respective service provider.

As it had been reported earlier, this bill aimed at tightening regulations surrounding the purchase of SIM cards by foreigners and non-citizens was drafted Russia’s Ministry for Digital Technology,  

TASS reported in late April that if the bill is enacted into law, all foreigners and non-citizens currently holding telecom agreements with service providers will be required to adhere to the new rules.  They must be notified of these changes by February 1, 2025 and will need to sign a new contract reflecting the updated regulations by March 1, 2025.    

Some experts note that these proposed regulatory changes represent a concerted effort by the Russian government to enhance security measures and ensure greater oversight of telecommunications services utilized by foreigners and non-citizens within the country.