MoIT, PTA and Minister for State Revenue Give Conflicting Statements About Deadline for Registering Mobile Phones

There is a vast difference between the stances of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and State Minister for Revenue, Hammad Azhar, with respect to blocking unregistered mobile phones.

According to MoITT and PTA, the deadline for registering/blocking un-registered mobile expired on January 15, 2019 while according to Azhar’s statement, it was February 15, and there is uncertainty prevailing with respect to mobile device registration as well as payment of duty.

The media reports while quoting State Minister Hammad Azhar stated that the deadline for phone registration with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had been pushed until February 15. He was quoted while addressing a ceremony related to World’s Customs Day at Wahga Border on January 26, 2019.

He said that the government is moving to make Pakistan a smuggling-free country and that after February 15, all the non-registered mobile phone will be blocked in the country.

However, Member (Compliance & Enforcement), Dr. Khawar Siddique Khokhar said that deadline for registering mobile devices under PTA Device Identification Registration & Blocking System (DIRBS) was January 15 and not February 15.

Regarding to another question, he said that PTA’s online system for registering mobile is operational and people can register their mobile.

As per the policy, a mobile phone would not be blocked automatically for 60 days and one has to register it with PTA during this period after paying duty/taxes (in case more than one phone), he added.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications officials backed the view of PTA while saying that according to the Cabinet decision deadline for un-registered Mobile Phones was January 15 where no further extension was granted.

According to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), mobile devices which were not activated by January 15, 2019 shall be provided an option to get regularized on payment of leviable duty/taxes along with payment of 10 percent of the amount of duty/taxes involved thereon on furnishing of Certificate of Compliances ) issued by PTA.

  • Can Pakistani residents going abroad on VISIT VISA (having no NICOP) bring and register one phone without taxes ?

    • As it’s an Imported Phone i.e. NOT bought in Pakistan, YES you will have to register it, provided you will be staying in Pakistan. As per PTA’s newly launched “DRS” (Device Registration System), they mentioned on their website that you only have 60 days to get the phone registered, and if your stay in Pakistan is less than that, you shouldn’t bother.
      For example, say you go overseas and get a job there, and come back to PK just to get exit stamp on your passport … eventually you had to head back overseas with same phone before 60 days, in this case you don’t need to register the imported phone.

  • GSM stopped working on my chinese tablet stopped a couple of days ago. I had imported it 4 years ago. When I had checked its IMEI in December 2018 and Jan 2019 It was complaint and now when I check its IMEI then it is non-compliant.

    I do not want to lose my only free attempt that I have to register a non-compliant imported phone as I plan to import one from abroad this year. There is absolutely no way for me to have this resolved. I bet there are other people who are facing similar issue(s) and do not have a resolution. If someone else has a resolution to this please share. Thanks

  • The DRS system by PTA is launched and it mentions that travelers have 60 days to get their devices registered. So basically if our stay in Pakistan is for less than 60 days, no need to register since we are only allowed ONE device per year as FREE in Pakistan.
    For citizens of Pakistan who are residing here permanently, should consider registering their phones received as Gift from their relatives.

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