FBR Releases FAQs for Taxes & Registration of Mobile Phone Devices

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) pertaining to rates of duty and taxes and registration of Mobile Phones with the new system introduced by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

Here are the FAQs:

Q1: Can a passenger bring one cell phone into Pakistan without having to pay duty/taxes?

Ans. Yes, a passenger is allowed to bring one mobile phone without paying any duty/tax if he has been living abroad for more than seven days. Furthermore, this allowance remains valid only once in a year.

Q2: Does a passenger need to pay duty/taxes on while bringing more than one mobile phone?

Ans. Yes, only one mobile phone will be free of duty/taxes. For other mobiles, he/she shall have to pay the applicable duty/taxes.

Q3: Does a passenger need to pay duty/taxes on a mobile phone that he/she has been using in Pakistan after returning from abroad?

Ans. No, the phone that has been in the personal use of the passenger does not require registration/payment of duty/taxes on his return to Pakistan. However, the phone has to be activated/registered in Pakistan. That will be the case of re-import of baggage and will be considered independent of the allowances admissible to mobile devices under the baggage rules.

Q4. How and where can a person register their mobile device in case they could not declare the same on arrival at the airport?

Ans. The person can go to the nearest customs office for registration of the mobile phone within 15 days of the arrival date.

Q5. Can a person avail the allowances available under the baggage rules if they do not declare at the time of arrival at the airport?

Ans. Yes, the international passenger can still get the admissible allowances at the time of registration at the customs office.

Q6. Will a person who is roaming in Pakistan be able to use their mobile phone in Pakistan?

Ans. Yes, roamers can use their mobile phones in accordance with the DIRBS SOP. The system will facilitate visitors to Pakistan from abroad who are on a short visit for personal or business purpose. Here are the details:

  1. A foreign roamer can keep using foreign SIMs without any time limit. They are not required to get a CoC from PTA.
  2. If a roamer uses local SIM in their mobile device, they will not be considered as a roamer and will have to fulfill the conditions of the compliant device.
  3. These roamers will be informed of the deficiency of their mobile phone via SMS. They will have 30 days to complete the requirements after which the non-compliant device will be blocked.
  4. If the visitor needs to use local SIM for a period longer than 30 days, he/she will need to attain the CoC from PTA along with the payment of duty/taxes.

  • One thing to clarify here is that the one phone free of duty and tax clause is only for sets that are open and in use. This doesn’t apply to box pack/sealed/new phones. All box pack phones are subject to duty and taxes irregardless.

    Another thing to note is that these laws are being widely misused and played around by the customs staff. The airport custom kiosk will provide one version, the custom office in islamabad will give you another version of the law, customs officer in Lahore will give you another version and the people at senior posts will give you another version. These laws need to be widely and openly published with all clauses and variations.

  • Can someone elaborate about similar Law in other neighbor countries. I think we’ve the harsh Law and worst Tax rates compare to rest of the world. Unfortunate Nation:(

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