TÜV SÜD BABT allocates the TAC (IMEI) numbers and maintains the IMEI database records on behalf of the GSM Association. The GSM Association's IMEI database is used to populate the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) which is used by GSM Network Operators.
For confidentiality reasons, access to the IMEI database is restricted. An organisation registered in the IMEI database can request a list of those TAC (IMEI) numbers allocated to them.
Network Operators can access the GSM Association's IMEI data for the purposes of monitoring IMEI numbers on their networks.
Government Regulators can also access the IMEI data via the GSM Association. However, IMEI allocation is not product approval. An IMEI allocation does not mean that the equipment has been approved. The product must meet the regulatory requirements of the intended markets and countries of use.
TÜV SÜD BABT are aware of other websites that claim to provide IMEI data. These websites have no formal connection with TÜV SÜD BABT, the GSM Association or the GSM Association's IMEI database. The GSM Association IMEI database is the only official record of allocated TACs.
Network Operators and Government Regulators access the data stored in the IMEI database. We have found many instances where the information on web sites claiming to provide IMEI allocation data is wrong. Currently there is no publicly available website that provides accurate up-to-date IMEI allocation details.
Police / Customs / Security Forces may require IMEI information during the course of an investigation. Both the GSM Association and TÜV SÜD BABT willingly assist with such enquiries.