Customs duty exemption on imported phones removed

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ISLAMABAD: The customs duty exemption that was previously available on bringing one imported phone to Pakistan has been removed, as per the new laws.

The customs duty exemption that was previously available on bringing one imported phone to Pakistan has been removed, as per the new laws.

In November 2018, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar had announced that Pakistani expatriates will be allowed to bring only one mobile phone to the country, per year, free of customs duty as per the new personal baggage rules. However, the new finance bill brought in by the government has rescinded that option.

Although this suggestion came under criticism from the government benches in the Senate’s Standing Committee on Revenue and Finance when the clauses of the finance bill were being deliberated, it seems that the amendment proposed by the senators have not been accepted.

In the initial stages of the conversation on the said clause, Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Shabbar Zaidi expressed some agreement on continuing the exemption on phones already being used abroad.

A point was raised that a mobile phone user from Pakistan, when abroad, does not have to face any blocking of the phones in their possession, so if someone comes to Pakistan with a phone that has already been operational, it should not be blocked.

However, this distinction is yet to be formalized into law and the previously available option of registering an imported phone and making it Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)-compliant is, as of now, not available anymore.

This comes as bad news not only for those who were planning to bring imported phones with them upon their return to Pakistan, but more so for those who have already brought imported phones with them.

This scribe knows one such customer who now has to pay Rs40,000 as custom duty on the phone that he brought home from abroad recently. In his comment, he said, “All I can do now is cry.”

In November 2018, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar had announced that Pakistani expatriates will be allowed to bring only one mobile phone to the country, per year, free of customs duty as per the new personal baggage rules. However, the new finance bill brought in by the government has rescinded that option.

Although this suggestion came under criticism from the government benches in the Senate’s Standing Committee on Revenue and Finance when the clauses of the finance bill were being deliberated, it seems that the amendment proposed by the senators have not been accepted.

In the initial stages of the conversation on the said clause, Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Shabbar Zaidi expressed some agreement on continuing the exemption on phones already being used abroad.

A point was raised that a mobile phone user from Pakistan, when abroad, does not have to face any blocking of the phones in their possession, so if someone comes to Pakistan with a phone that has already been operational, it should not be blocked.

However, this distinction is yet to be formalized into law and the previously available option of registering an imported phone and making it Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)-compliant is, as of now, not available anymore.

This comes as bad news not only for those who were planning to bring imported phones with them upon their return to Pakistan, but more so for those who have already brought imported phones with them.

This scribe has learned from one such customer who now has to pay Rs40,000 as custom duty on the phone he has brought home from abroad recently. In his comment, he said, “All I can do now is cry.”

31 COMMENTS

  1. Assalamualaikum hru, I request PTA please don’t be so cruel and lets us live. Remove taxes from importanted phone till Dec 2019. Implementation of taxes must be held in 2020. N taxes should be reasonable otherwise mobile industry will be shut down. Please think in this matter

  2. We are thr only country on the planet that rejoices on getting a loan approved what a shame those who are in govt shud refrain from telling the people that you are further buffeted whilst those that were supposed to have looted the coffee are not willing to cough any money and where are the billions that were to pour in gone all politicians are liars and cheaters making false promises shame on them

  3. I appreciate the govt decision to put taxes on imported items specially mobiles, it’s good decision for our country industries to increase sell of our country product .

  4. Every electronic equipment including all brands of mobile phones seen in Pakistan is imported, Because Pakistan industry has no capability to manufacture any electronic item. The government shouldn’t go for duties on electronic equipments until Pakistan acquire the capability in electronic field to the level of manufacturing.

  5. Levy of taxes on imported mobile should be exempted, if at all inevitable, must be at an affordable rate. The pakistanis abroad earn and remit foreign exchange for the country and they deserve due facilitation when coming back to their homes in Pakistan. The government must give due consideration to the public demand for exemption of taxes on at least one imported mobile.

  6. Such kind of bad decisions will set off Pakistan to backwards instead of upgrading. Mobile industry will also collapse same like cars industry. Having a large number of rubbish cars only due to monopoly of a couple of brands and highest prices with third class quality and its against beautification of country as well. At least one phone per annum must remain exempted from any duty.

  7. Well done PTA and FBR now the personal date in shape of Passport and CNIC remain safe and not gone in hands of mean people, who making 2 nambri to avoid a little tax.

    • Subse chawal logic inke system ki yeh thee k bnda pakistan aya b na ho… Uska data koi airport se le k phone reg kerleta…
      Na he original passport na he koi ID verification ka mechanism… . Buss random cnic aur passport number daal do phone reg hojata……..

  8. A very good decision by the government, taxes on imported items must be increased even more to increase our exports and let the people Pakistan use their own product to use to help economy grow.

  9. Dear PTA
    Plz think about it. Not hot decesion bcz a man come into his home after one or two uears he has right minimum 1 phone free of cost his personal usage.

  10. 🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕

  11. It such a shameful moment and rescinded type of law, brutal govt policy for overseas Pakistanis. Even only one mobile device is not exempted. FBR should review this law and at least one mobile should be exempt.
    i will suggest shabbar zaidi to trim his mustaches so it may help him to get some sense.
    Ridiculous

  12. Ptia ne jeena mushkil ker dia banda bahr se ph laye us pe tax jus country se ke uder b tax🙏🙏🙏awam ki jann choro

  13. Personal mobile pay duty taxes kahan ka law Hy ye tow bilkul galat Hy har koi roaming afford nai krta Pakistan a k hmain idhr ki hi sim use krna ho GI jaise baki countries may ja k hm Pakistan ki roaming wali sim nai use krtay kuch tow khayal krain itna b zulam acha nai sab kuch aawam se hi poora krna Hy tax laga laga k koi b personal mobile pay tax k huq may na Jaye PTA apna decision wapis le aik mobile k ilawa baki pay AP lagain tax no issue ager data bahir gaya chori howa tow system sahi krne ki bajaye ap ne awam pay hi tax laga diya apna system sahi krtay un logon ko pakrain un se poochain Jin ki waja se data chori howa hmara Kya qasoor Hy Khuda k liye itna boj dalain jitna hm utha lain utna na dalain k Jo utha rahay wo b na utha sakain shukriya.

  14. Personal mobile pay tax ka decision wapis liya Jaye please Jo b eis baat k huq may ho wo b zaroor apna message PTA Tak ponchain ta k jab b hm Pakistan Jain humain personal mobile pay tax na Dena paray Kam az Kam or hm sakoon se apna mobile use KR sakain extra mobiles pay beshak AP lein tax per personal mobile duty free kiya Jaye system ko behter kiya Jaye na k hm se hi tax Lena shuru KR diya jaye.

  15. Pti govt is fools govt , their financial policies are rubbish, if an overseer can’t bring a single cell phone in the country, how can you expect him to have courage to bring investment in pakistan

  16. This whole thing by government is to stop smuggling of mobile phones from abroad but it is adversely affecting overseas Pakistanis like us who genuinely bring one or two personal phones for usage in our country, They could have done substantial steps to stop the data theft of expatriates for the purpose of registering phones. They could have linked it to biometrics to make sure that no one misused it. But instead they do it in an entirely wrong way.
    Just a personal example how this is affecting overseas Pakistanis like us,…….my wife is a non-resident of pakistan but due to her sickness she is staying for few months in pak , abroad mobile phone is not working anymore and we had to buy a local new phone (the local phone was assembled in pak itself which didn’t work as it was supposed to due to poor quality, another issue which we all face : (
    Not fair to genuine overseas Pakistanis who come only once or twice a year to our native place
    I don’t mind in paying tax as long as there is a system and proper logic behind it , not like this case,

  17. Do you want anymore tabdeeli
    Change you immigration system and black sheeps in F.I.A
    Rotten eggs are selling our data to third party
    Maybe imran Khan is okay but 98% party is based on corrupt peoples

  18. Personal mobile duty free kiya jaye eis pay tax kis cheese ka dein apni country ana hi chor dein Kya aik mobile duty free krain please overseas one two month atay hain one or two year baad pr in ki families tow ati jati rehti hain govt PTA AP FIA se investigation kyun nai krtay data Kaise bahir gaya eis system ko behtr karain Jo involve hain unhay sakht se sakht saza dein ta k next time koi aisi jurat na krain or plz aik mobile se tax hatain shukriya.

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