Monday, October 18, 2021

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

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ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar has announced that only one phone a year would be allowed to bring in the country from abroad free of duty.

While, the revenue minister said in a series of tweets that, a maximum of five phones in a year could be brought in, under personal baggage rules. ” The duty on remaining four will have to be paid if you require service in Pakistan beyond 30 days.”

For the purposes of implementation and enforcement of this policy, the customs electronic automated system had already been integrated with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)’s DIRBS (Device Verification System), he said.

“The IMEI numbers of customs duty paid phones is automatically uploaded into PTA’s database,” he added.

The minister of state for revenue announced that the non-custom duty paid phone sets bought after December 1 would be deactivated after a lapse of 30 days.

Read More: Smuggled cellphones to be blocked after Dec 31: Fawad Chaudhry

However, he said that, the phones activated before the said date would not be affected.

“The cabinet has decided that mobile phones sold after 1st Dec 2018 that are not custom duty paid (i.e. smuggled) will be deactivated by PTA after a lapse of 30 days. Phones currently in use or activated before 1st Dec will not be effected or require any registration,” he said.

He requested masses to check legal status of the phone sets while purchasing through sending their IMEI numbers to 8484.

“If you are purchasing a new phone or carry any phone that you wish to install a SIM in and activate after 1st Dec 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 dialling *#06# on its screen,” he said.

Hammad Azhar said the federal cabinet had also approved the relaxation in policies regarding commercial import of new and used mobile phones.

“Ban on commercial import of used phones is also lifted if the said phone models conform to PTA regulations and duties and taxes are paid on them,” he said.

It is pertinent here to mention that the subscriber base of cellular mobile users has recorded a growth around 1.5 million in first quarter of fiscal year 2018-19.

According to the data issued by the PTA, the main reason of growth is mobile internet facility.

The data shows that till June 2018 the number of total subscribers was 150.2 million and it reached around 151.7 million till September 2018.

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