Not too long ago, the government had introduced a new clause in the prevailing vehicle import law, where the Overseas Pakistanis had to provide the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) on the remittance certificate against the vehicle being imported. This had reportedly resulted in a lot of cars getting stranded at the clearance checkpoints, causing a huge bother to the Overseas Pakistanis.
However, it has been revealed that the government has revoked the clause that mandated the provision of IBAN along with the remittance certificate as a part of the vehicle import process. Now, the Overseas Pakistanis can import the cars to Pakistan under the gift scheme, transfer of residence, or personal baggage, without having to provide the IBAN number.
As per a recent report shared by Pakwheels, the step was seemingly taken following a discrepancy that was pointed out by the Customs Department. The department informed that only 77 countries in the world operate using an IBAN system and that some of the major auto-markets such as Japan, China, USA, Canada, Australia, among many others don’t even use the IBAN system.
This reportedly led the Customs Department to reach out to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and seek the issuance of policy guidelines for the vehicles being imported from the countries that don’t use IBAN systems.
In response, the Ministry of Commerce informed the customs department that in such cases, a Proceed Realization Certificate (PRC) would be required that confirms the name of the Overseas Pakistani, name of the Bank, and the Overseas Pakistani’s personal account number.
It bears mentioning, however, that due to the banning of the commercial import of used cars in Pakistan, the car importing business suffered quite a bit. As per a recent report shared by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the car imports during the first three months of the financial year (FY) 2020-21 reduced by 24.66% compared to the same period of the last financial year.
The report further states that the passenger car imports went down from $175,143 in the first three months of FY 2019-20 to $124,788 during the same period of FY 2020-21, whereas motorcycle imports went down from $18,754 in the first three months of FY 2019-20 to $10,758 during the same period of FY 2020-21.
With the vehicle imports restricted, the only benefit has been in terms of keeping the money within the borders of Pakistan. But at the same time, popular opinion suggests that it allows the local automakers to continue with their complacency in terms of making the same old cars with obsolete tech and safety standards. Due to this factor, a great number of people are not exactly on board with the government’s vehicle import ban.