According to media reports, there has been a rise in the import of used cars despite a commercial ban as car importers are using illicit means to exploit the car import policy.
Sources have claimed that the number of imported used cars has increased in the current financial year, as till date 1,096 cars have been imported. Out of these more than 560 units were imported in the month of September 2019.
The people involved in these imported cars use passports belonging to Pakistanis based in Dubai. These cars are then imported to Pakistan through the gift schemes and have called into question, the government’s efforts to cut down car imports in the country.
The sources added, “It is very alarming that the importers have once again found a way to continue with their nefarious plans of denting the local auto industry as the numbers of imported vehicles have increased substantially in the recent months.”
For now, the government isn’t aware of this loophole as they had managed to cut car imports by implementing SRO 52. Under this, a used car could be imported under three different conditions, i.e. gift scheme, transfer of residence, and personal baggage. It even added another condition that all costs such as taxes and duties on the imported car were to be paid in foreign currency by either by a Pakistani national or a local recipient showing a bank encashment certificate that confirmed the exchange of foreign remittance to local currency.
These restrictions helped slash illegal imports of cars considerably but the car importers have still found a way to import them illegally. Sources added, “It will also impact the efforts Pakistan has made to get out of FATF grey list as used cars import was one of the biggest contributors to undocumented and illegal transactions.”