PTA to Automate NOC Issuance Process for Imported Phones, Other Devices

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is currently working on automating the process through which NOC or “No Objection Certificate” is issued for imported electronic devices including Smartphones or even feature phones and tablets. Once implemented, custom authorities will be directly getting NOC for phone imports from the regulator without involving the end user in the process.

For those who don’t know, all sorts of telecom devices imports of any quantity, including those ordered through online websites (Ali Express for example) are cleared by custom authorities only after when an NOC is produced by the importer/buyer/end user.

Currently buyers or end users are responsible for arranging and obtaining the NOC from PTA, which is usually a tedious and near to impossible task as PTA has not defined any way of offering NOC for imported smartphones and tablets. And this is why a lot of shipments — without NOC — end-up without reaching the buyers and are usually discarded (read consumed) by custom authorities.

After automation of the whole process, custom authorities will interact with PTA directly without asking end-users for the NOC. Custom authorities, after getting the NOC on their own, will clear shipments in due time.

It is still unclear that how much time will be required by custom authorities to get an NOC from PTA and how much time will be required for a shipment to get cleared from customs after reaching Pakistan.

Our sources suggest that this automation of NOC issuance from PTA will be rolled out with-in next couple of weeks.

It merits mentioning here only type approved devices are allowed for import and usage in Pakistan. Not all devices can be imported, or allowed for usage in Pakistan.

Below are items that require PTA’s NOC before import:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets and iPads
  • Feature Phones
  • Cordless phones
  • Corded phones
  • Fax / data modems
  • Encryption Devices
  • WiFi routers
  • WiMAX CPEs
  • 3G / 4G USB Dongles
  • Bluetooth devices
  • Two way wireless radio devices
  • Vehicle security devices
  • Vehicle tracking system

Complete list of approved devices is available on PTA’s website here.

If you have imported or ordered a device that is available in type approved list then custom authorities will clear your shipment automatically, but if your device isn’t listed in the type approved devices then such items will never make their way out of customs’ warehouse and you will never be getting them.

It is strongly advised to check type approved list of telecom devices before you import them or order them online.


Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

    • The cheap ones are banned that operate on the spectrum used by 3G/4G services 900 Mhz – 1.8G. Better quality ones that operate on either 2.4G or 5.6G band are still allowed.

  • That would be a great step. I am not kidding, I had a neighbor whose father was in customs and that fellow would have a new phone every other month. Ridiculous.

  • Its a difficult process.

    I had ordered a smartphone from AliExpress, costing $85. It reached in 5 days. They never sent any notification of custom held. When I went to custom office in GPO Lahore they told me to write to PTA. I wrote and got NOC in 10 days. Custom officers charged me Rs. 2400 on a phone whose value is just $85 or Rs. 8500.

    • Bhai mei ne sirf phone kar key GPO walo sey importing ki info mangi Aglon ne kaha na magwana outside of Pak. jab vaja pochi to bolay ap ko lag pata jaie ga.I am sure this is what they meant. Anyway you should be happy as they didn’t charged you any fines for detention in their facility.

  • Few days back i purchased an alienware laptop from US and it was coming to me via DHL , custom detained the laptop on lahore airport and send me the documents for type approval NOC from pta because it could have a gsm device in it , but it doesn’t , so its 10 days now and i making calls sometime dhl sometime pta and sometime customs visiting cargo complex , the PTA says if there is no sim they cant do anything i have to ask fbr/customs authorities . even i have Email from director approval . but again its Pakistan customs , i haven’t got my laptop yet , DHL says they are filing a case etc etc , btw , there is no custom duty on laptops but the dhl told me that total taxes would be around 40% of invoice price .

    • Never ever do a mistake of buying any type of electronic equipment online because no matter what…these authorities will make excuse to hold your items and later use for their own kids. Either buy from local market or ask someone to bring with him while coming to Pakistan.

      • What about Cell phone spare parts.? I am considering to buy a Smart Phone screen from Ali Express. Please comment.

        • I am not sure, but same rule applies on spare parts. Reason of PTA approval to control import of any equipment/device that violates security standards. You can check list of allowed items on PTA website.

    • agar Pakistan mei sahi tereqay se qaam hota to yeh corrupt siasatdan kaisey itni laptops /mobile smuggle karte UAE se?

  • Have orderd 3g dongle from aliexpress a few months ago. Recieved it without any problem. Although the postman asked for 20 rupees as a custom fee :)

  • I lost my 4G Mifi worth $120 due to NOC :-( I ordered it from Aliexpress. So such automatic option would be great for us.

    • Which Company 4G MiFi You purchased from Ali Express ? It is different from Warid / Zong 4G MiFi ???

  • Any idea if ordering projector from Ali express would end up somewhere in custom House or would it be delivered without any issue?

  • do we have to pay any fees for the “automated” NOC ???

    how will the customs deliver the phone to our houses ?

  • It is so difficult to import electronic gadgets like phones and laptops from outside because our notorious custom chimps hold them for their own use. The only way to fix custom is to lash them and hang and lash again, all in public.

  • Is this NOC automation system is live already? I was thinking to buy OnePlus 2 from AliExpress. Anyone who is experienced can help me out here please.

  • Lame a frequent importer of cell phones and tablets, I can confirm with 100% certainty that the NOC obtaining process is still manual and no automation is rolled out or even planned as per PTA yet! Neither DHL nor FedEx have any info about it either..and it’s already been over a month since this dumb news!

  • it’s been well over a year when will this become reality ? it will take 2 days for experienced software devs to get all of this automated yet our beloved PTA can’t do it in a year.

  • This may be useful for readers.

    Last Updated (Friday, 11 December 2015)

    “Notice: This message is intended to inform that Tablet PC with Wi-Fi only functionality has been exempted by the PTA as of August 2015 Authority Decision. In light of this all Tablet PC with Wi-Fi only functionality does not require Type Approval or NOC from the PTA and all are advised to directly obtain clearance from the Customs directly as per the procedure in vogue. No NOC/Type approval for this category will be issued from the PTA.”

  • i am buy smartphone from Ali express pakistan post office want noc from PTA in 20 dayes how to get noc just one mobile please help phas gea yaar panga ban gea

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