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International SMS Messaging Geographic Permissions (Geo Permissions) and How They Work

Want to learn more about managing International SMS Dialing Permissions on your Twilio project? Need to send outbound messages outside of your country, and want to select the regions and countries you’ll allow? This guide will help you with this as well as answer common questions about Geo Permissions.

Table of Contents

What is International SMS Messaging Permissions?

Twilio provides our users with the ability to send outbound SMS messages globally. Your project is set up to only allow access to your home country, which is determined by the phone number you verified during signup. If you’d like to enable new countries to send SMS to, please modify your permissions from the Messaging Geographic Permissions page in Console.

How does International SMS messaging work?

Since no special request form is required to send global messaging, we recommend you visit our Messaging Geographic Permissions page in Console to preview the list of countries in which your project allows messaging content to and from. We suggest you familiarize yourself with the countries your project supports in order to better protect yourself from unwanted messaging.

Please note that Geographic Permissions work based on the country code of the destination To phone number, and may not map strictly to a country's political or cultural boundaries. For example, disabling outbound messages to the Palestinian Territory will block messages sent to all numbers starting with +970. This will not, however, block messages to numbers that use a different country code (for example, +972 to Israel) that actually terminate to a number in the country you intended to block.

Click on the link below to view a list of countries your project can send messaging to and from.

Send text messages to anywhere in the world

Can I manage different international SMS permissions for individual subaccounts?

Yes. By default, your subaccount will inherit the permissions of your master account. That said, users do have the option to disable inheritance, and enable or disable countries as needed on each subaccount that lives under the main parent account. 

Please note that inheritance is only available between a main/parent account, and its owned subaccounts. Each main/parent account (sometimes referred to as a 'project'), has its own unrelated set of international geographic permissions that requires manual management. Enabling or disabling permissions to a specific country on one main/parent account will not change this setting on any other main/parent accounts, regardless of owner or organization status.

For more information on subaccount inheritance, please see Do Subaccounts Support International Calls and SMS Messaging.

Notice: To maximize protection against SMS fraud, Twilio recommends users be sure to block countries you don't plan to send messages to in ALL of your accounts.

Why am I receiving Error 21408 when trying to send SMS to certain recipients or regions?

The error definition can be found here: Error 21408

This error occurs when you are trying to send SMS to a region that has not been enabled in your account's Messaging Geo-Permissions settings. We commonly see this error when sending to U.S. or Canada as U.S. and Canada require both U.S and CA +1 regions enabled in order to send to +1 country code successfully.

What do I do if I notice irregular activity in my project?

If you notice any irregular activity on your account, please reach out to our Support team immediately, as well as your account manager. Twilio takes the financial security of our users very seriously, but it is still the responsibility of the project owner to reach out to us immediately.

Once an incident is reported, we can suspend all activity on a project or subaccount, or block a certain prefix while an investigation ensues. It is better to be safe and temporarily out of service, than risk high charges and abusive activity.

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