FBR Collected Rs. 231 Million in Six Months for Phones Registered With DIRBS

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has collected Rs. 231 million on the import of 120,741 mobile phones from January 15, 2019 to July 15, 2019 under the traveler baggage scheme.

According to the data presented by the FBR before the Senate Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunications, a total of 715,990 duty-free mobile phones were imported from January 15, 2019 to July 15, 2910.

FBR’s data revealed that six slabs of duties and taxes are applicable on the import of mobile phones under the baggage scheme in the Finance Act 2019.

In light of the federal cabinet’s decision as of January 15, 2019, a total of 357 million IMEIs — that were previously unregistered with PTA — were converted to compliant and registered status.

All devices that connected to any mobile network after January 15, 2019 were required to be registered within 60 days from when first seen on any mobile network.

A total of 10,273,531 devices seen on the network were blocked on a rolling basis upon the lapse of 60 days warning period. Prior to blocking, as per SOP, an SMS was sent to consumers informing them about their device’s unregistered status and warning them about the device being blocked.

The data revealed that the fixed tax rates, as per Finance Act 2019, are as following:

  • Mobile phone having a value of up to US $30: Rs. 300
  • Mobile phone with a value between US $30-100: Rs 2,940
  • Mobile phone valued between US $100-200: Rs 4,510
  • Mobile phone valued between US $202-350: Rs 6,180
  • Mobile phone valued between US $350-500: Rs 17,650
  • Mobile phone valued between above US $500: Rs 31,250

This essentially means that if a phone is priced at $750, a fixed tax rate of Rs. 31,250 will be deducted to get such a phone activated in Pakistan.

Earlier this month, single phone allowance under the baggage scheme was withdrawn and now all phones brought to Pakistan by expats — after July 1st 2019 — must be registered with DIRBS after paying applicable taxes.

It must be mentioned here that international travelers usually bring used phones with them, i.e. the face value of phones is less than what’s registered with the FBR and hence they are taxed the same as new phones i.e. higher than the phone’s real value.

An older iPhone model, for instance, could be priced with FBR at more than $500 and hence same tax slab will be applied. In reality, the phone could be of much lesser value due to depreciation in price over the years or because the phone is used and not new.

FBR is yet to devise a way to tax such used phones — that come with a lower price tag and must be taxed at a lower rate.

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


  • Day light robery by imran Khan and his unelected foreign nationals holders advisers, how you justify New mobile phones and personal used 2nd hand pays same duty tax. Wake up Pakistan otherwise it’s to late, change Pakistan.

  • I’m overseas and have bought all my phones for my family from Pakistan. But paying taxes on my personal device while visiting is just absurd. I came for 10 days back in Feb, and i think the counter of 60 days didn’t stop when i left in 10 days as i kept getting messages from PTA to register my device. And now i plan to visit in August, pretty sure my phone will be blocked in PK networks. This is the most absurd thing for any overseas Pakistani.

  • On the one hand govt is encouraging overseas expacts to invest in pakistan so that our country gets much needed foreign currencies and promising all facilities will be provided to overseas expatriates…but very sorry to know that expatriate has to pay huge amount of taxes (equal to brand new mobiles) for the old used mobiles they were using abroad for years. Life for expatriates in Pakistan has been made difficult. This is a very small example of how expatriates are discouraged to come to home country or invest here. PM must look into the matter personally

  • Every pakistani who lives abroad is paying every tax and duties there when thay come to pakistan they don’t want to pay any tax to the govt.. This behavior should be changed.. Pay taxes and be a good citizen..


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