Pakistan exempts tax, duty on phones 'used or activated' before Dec 1
Dubai - Pakistan imported $847.66 million worth of mobile phones in 2017-18.
Pakistan's Minister of State for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar on Tuesday clarified the mobile tax policy for foreigners and overseas Pakistanis visiting the country.
He said in a series of tweets that people flying into Pakistan will be allowed to register only one phone as duty free and there will be no duty or registration fee on any phones using the roaming service. In addition, no registration fee or duty will be imposed if the phone is used in Pakistan for less than 30 days.
"Also, no registration/duty [is] required on any phone that was activated or ever used in Pakistan before December 1, 2018," he said in a tweet.
Visitors can pay duties and register at airports or in any of the Custom Houses across Pakistan. "Phones are not detained during the process of registration or duty payments," the minister added.
Replying to a Twitterati, the minister explained that it's a voluntary declaration and registration can be done at custom houses too. "Voluntary means that airports are not the route to register. And there is no compulsion to register. But non-custom paid phones that are not registered will get deactivated after 30 days," he tweeted.
The Pakistan government said these steps have been taken to curtail illegal imports of handsets and safeguard the national economy. Islamabad had earlier announced that illegally imported mobile phones can be registered and regularised with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority until December 31 without paying penalty charges.
A country facing heavy trade deficit and balance of payment crisis, Pakistan imported $847.66 million (Dh3.11 billion) worth of mobile phones in 2017-18.
In the previous fiscal year, Pakistan had imported over $1 billion worth of phones as there was no duty on imports from China due to free trade agreement and a very small little duty on imports from other countries.
Azhar had earlier announced that overseas Pakistanis can carry only one mobile phone in a year without paying customs duty and a maximum of 5 as per personal baggage rules. But people will have to pay duty on the 4 handsets that they would take along.