Travellers allowed only one cellphone in a year to bring to Pakistan duty-free

Published: November 25, 2018
Maximum of five phones can be brought in the country per year under the new regulation PHOTO: AFP

Maximum of five phones can be brought in the country per year under the new regulation PHOTO: AFP

In a major policy shift, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar has announced that those travelling to Pakistan will be allowed to bring in only one cellphone per year free of customs duty as per the personal baggage rules.

While a maximum of five smart phones can be brought under the new regulations in a year. However, customs duty will have to be paid on the extra four handsets to require service in Pakistan beyond 30 days.

On Saturday, the federal minister had written on the microblogging website, Twitter, saying: “The cabinet has decided that mobile phones sold after 1st December 2018 that are not custom duty paid (i.e. smuggled) will be deactivated by PTA after a lapse of 30 days.”

However, phones currently in use or activated before December 1 will not be effected or require any registration, he added.

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In addition to this the the state minister further said, “The cabinet has also approved the relaxation in policies regarding commercial import of new and used mobile phones,” adding that the ban on commercial import of used phones has also been lifted if the phone models conform to PTA regulations and duties and taxes have been paid on them.

While guiding phone users to avoid any hassle, Azhar said in an other tweet, “If you are purchasing a new phone or carry any phone that you wish to install a SIM in and activate after 1st December 2018, make sure to send its IMEI number to 8484 to know about its legal status. The IMEI number can be found the mobile phone’s box or by dialing *#06# on its screen.”

On Friday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had announced that the cabinet had decided to install a new Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) to block the smuggled phones after December 31. “The restriction will not be imposed on the phones already in use,” he added.

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He said mobile phones worth Rs82 million come through formal channels and taxes were paid but phones worth Rs2.5 billion come through informal channels every year.

The information minister said that the sale of second-hand phones is banned but these phones are still available in markets.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Umor
    Nov 25, 2018 - 8:21PM

    This is ridiculous. Absolutely rubbish policy. At least two or three phone should be exempted from duty. When we buy phones here, we pay taxes on it. What is the point of paying double especially when we are getting nothing in return both from Pakistan or UAE.

    This is injustice. You want to create new sources of revenue generation. I understand that. Broaden the tax net instead of making travel full of unnecessary hassle and inconvenience.Recommend

  • 麦蒂
    Dec 2, 2018 - 7:56PM

    kindly read regulations carefully, you cannot use the other phone more than 30 days in Pakistan, if you want to use that more than 30 days, means you have brought that for someone to gift or sell, then you need to pay customs. otherwise, that phone is useless in Pakistan and you can take that back to OMAN/UAE/ETC ETC or whatever your place is. Recommend

  • Ali Imran Hussain Ali
    Dec 10, 2018 - 9:58AM

    Good Morning,

    Kindly elaborate the above policy, it’s little confusing.

    I am using two cell phones here (One corporate, one personnel) so when I come to Pakistan, stay less than thirty days so I have to pay duty on that or no and if I bring one new cell phone for family so I have pay tax on that also or no. Recommend

  • bob
    Jan 15, 2019 - 7:50PM

    Good question @ali Imran.
    I have the same concern.
    Can somebody please answer this question!Recommend

  • Sal
    Jan 30, 2019 - 9:13PM

    Guys if you are staying less than 30 days then its no issue at all. Also if you have international sim it will work definitely.Recommend

  • Faizan
    Feb 4, 2019 - 4:37PM

    is the duty applicable on wifi only tablets?Recommend

  • Ria
    Feb 17, 2019 - 8:21PM

    I have bought one mobile phone from uae. Now I’m trying to register my phone and dirbs system is saying that I’ve to pay tax/duty 53 thousand.
    I mean seriously what rubbishRecommend

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