Mobile Telephone (Re-Programming) Act 2002

Reference: UK/2002/C/31

The Mobile Telephone (Re-Programming) Act 2002 creates offences in respect of unique electronic equipment identifiers of mobile wireless communications devices.

Main provision

The Act focuses on re-programming mobile telephones by changing the 'unique device identifier' which is the international equipment identification (IMEI ) number - i.e. the unique serial number of the phone.

Offences

A person commits an offence if:

  • he changes a unique device identifier;
  • he interferes with the operation of a unique device identifier;
  • he offers or agrees to change, or interfere with the operation of, a unique device identifier; or

he offers or agrees to arrange for another person to change, or interfere with the operation of, a unique device identifier.

A unique device identifier is an electronic equipment identifier which is unique to a mobile wireless communications device.

Defences

A person does not commit an offence if:

  • he is the manufacturer of the device, or
  • he does the act mentioned above with the written consent of the manufacturer of the device.