Pakistan is making amendments to Baggage Rules 2006 in order to have better control over international passengers traveling in and out of the country.
To comply with FATF’s recommendations, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has prepared a draft proposal which will bind travelers to provide their particulars and the purpose of their travel. It will also ask for details about accessories, jewelry, and other belongings of the passengers.
According to a report, FBR is removing ‘Rule 3’ of the Act which allowed Pakistanis staying abroad for more than seven days to bring along a cell phone without paying any taxes. However, if the proposal gets the government’s nod, local travelers spending more than a week abroad will have to pay duties to bring a mobile phone into the country.
Moreover, the revenue board has also proposed a ‘Rule 7’ to the Baggage Rules, which will ask in-bound travelers to declare the items they are carrying with them.
A separate Annexure C has been introduced, which requires passengers to provide their name, sex, date of birth, passport number, nationality, and country.
The document also asks passengers the name of the country they are traveling to and from – even, the country(ies) they have been to in the past seven days.
International passengers will also have to write the purpose and the nature of the visit, whether its government, personal, business, or tourism.
Other than that, they will have to disclose whether they are carrying any satellite phones, precious stones/jewelry, weapons, firearms, or any banned items/substances.
The government has reportedly asked all the stakeholders to chip in with their suggestions within seven days with a clear direction that no objection will be entertained after the deadline.
According to sources privy to the matter, the move is part of the government’s measures to comply with FATF’s action plan.
Pakistan has received a final warning from the financial watchdog to fully implement the action plan or get blacklisted from the Paris-based global task force.