Here’s How You Can Import a Phone to Pakistan [Guide]

Importing a phone from China is pretty easy though the process does take its time. Here are the detailed steps that you need to follow to have a phone of your choice delivered to your home:

  1. Decide on the phone you want to buy.
  2. Choose a website or online store to buy it from.
  3. Buy your phone using your preferred method of payment.
  4. Get shipping details, tracking number and Airway bill from the seller.
  5. Track your phone as it reaches Pakistan.
  6. Get in touch with post office, or let them get in touch with you.
  7. Get Personal NOC from PTA.
  8. Get your phone cleared from Customs at GPO.
  9. Pay customs duties and other charges to the postman.
  10. Take your phone and enjoy.

And most importantly, be patient.

Detailed Procedure

Below, I will detail how I recently imported a Xiaomi Mi Note 3 to Pakistan and all the steps I had to go through to get it.

I had already made up my mind to buy a top specced Xiaomi’s Mi Note 3, an excellent premium phone. I used the seller, “Xiaomi Online Store” on AliExpress to buy it, though there are also other reliable sellers on Aliexpress as well. You can buy Xiaomi phones from websites, like BangGood, HonorBuy, GearBest too.

It was priced $456 when I bought it.

 

Order Details

Order Billing Details

 

Shipment Tracking Number

I ordered it on the 10th of October, they shipped it on 14th October, it reached in Pakistan on 21st October at Karachi airport; then reached Lahore, where I live, on 25th October.

Shipment Details (on AliExpress)

Shipment Tracking in Pakistan 

You can also track your package after it reaches Pakistan using Pakistan Post’s online tracking feature.

Once the package reached Lahore, I got in touch with the GPO (Post Office) and got IMEI numbers to get NOC from PTA.

GPO’s standard procedure is that they send you a letter, called Customs Detention Letter, at your address, asking you to get an NOC from PTA but you can also get in touch with them if you want to and get the letter in person.

This letter has IMEI number(s) written for your NOC application to PTA. GPO will also issue a local shipment/article number for you to track it locally. This number is also written in the letter, and is required for your NOC application.

Here’s my Customs Detention Letter:

Getting PTA NOC

There are people outside the GPO who ask you to fill an application for NOC through them. You can do that too. But I suggest you go to PTA website, create an account and apply for Personal NOC yourself.

PTA Personal NOC application interface

You will need the following documents to apply online:

  • Invoice for your phone (purchase receipt, bill or something like that. If you buy online, you can use your order’s billing details’ screenshot as invoice for your application. I used the screenshots given in this guide)
  • Tracking number (given to you by the site/seller you buy your phone from)
  • Airway bill (it also includes the same tracking number. You can ask the store/website/seller you bought it from to send it to you via email)
  • Scanned copy of Customs Detention Letter (the one GPO sends to you, or in my case, I got it from them at GPO)
  • IMEI number(s) of your phone (written in the Customs Detention Letter)
  • Local tracking number (issued by GPO and written in Customs Detention Letter)
  • Scanned copy of your CNIC

Airway bill (Commercial Invoice, or something like that) looks like this

PTA Application Tracking

When you apply for NOC with PTA, you will get an application tracking number. Keep it with you, it will help you track your application like this:

PTA usually processes personal NOC applications within the same working day (mostly within 3-4 hours). They will reject your application if some documents are missing but they will let you know what’s missing, so you can reapply by attaching the missing documents with your new application.

All documents are to be submitted in a single PDF file.

Final Process

Then came the patience period as it took 4 days for the NOC to reach to me via Pakistan Post. You can’t rush this, unfortunately.

When I got the NOC, I took it to the GPO along with the Customs Detention Letter and went to the Customs Department in GPO.

The guy there took a look at the documents, asked me the price of the phone and then asked me to search it online for him. I did that and showed him the price. He calculated the charges for $465 phone as follows:

  • Sales tax: 1500rs
  • Regulatory Duty: 250rs
  • Customs and others: 2290rs
  • Pakistan Post charges: 30rs

It doesn’t matter if your package shows lower price for the phone as they will search its price online to be sure.

They asked me to sign the charges slip, and asked me to go home as they do not let a person receive a phone in person. Only the postman can deliver it to you. That’s also when he will get these charges from you in cash. You can’t pay the same at the post office.

After that, I waited for another two days and the postman brought the phone to my home. I paid him customs duties and other charges in cash and got my phone.

I hope this guide helps others on importing their phones. Please do keep in mind that you cannot import used phones. Only new phones can be imported. Good luck!


  • Please let us know the charges type, fixed and percentage of the value.

    I think sales tax and regulatory duty is fixed.

    • Yes, sales tax and regulatory duty are fixed. The rest vary depending on the price of the phone. But on average, they remain within 1,000rs per 10,000rs of the cost of the phone (or around 10%). This is just an estimate, though.

  • Post has great details. Would you please tell more about shipping? Like

    We should choose free? Or paid?
    Registered or non-registered air mail? What about China mail?

    Which one is better? In terms of tracking and cost effective?

    • Always use registered and tracked service for such items. You can use any service you want, some are slow some are faster.

    • For phones, even free shipping has tracking details. And if they don’t, getting tracking details doesn’t cost more than 2$ (at least AE and BG cost that much). Shipping time is what’s more important. If you can’t wait for like 3-4 weeks, then you should choose a costly shipping method, like EMS or DHL.

  • I am going to order the same phone on upcoming 11.11 sale at AliExpress. But I will get the same delivered to South Korea at my brothers’ address as he will be coming in next month.
    It would be highly appreciated if you can share the details of seller so I will choose the same seller while ordering,.

    • There is no price mentioned on the package. The bill is attached on the phone which has a very low price of 45$, which is why people at post office confirm the price online

  • This is so long things to do just to get a phone from abroad. I’m living in Saudi Arabia and don’t have such issues mention in here. Just order, track and wait. Once it’s arrived (usualy in 30 days), if you are paid customer of Saudi Post they will call and deliver to you if not just collect from Post Office.

  • I want to ask from OP that how you managed to run google play services since the phone is launched only in china with Chinese ROM.

  • Ahhh reminds me of so many khajal khawari The way you describe this looks like peace of cake but in reality they will f…. you up so hard GPO and lahore airport customs all are haram khorr

  • Hi @sajidsadeem:disqus indeed a great article facilitating answers to many questions. Thanks so much. I have a question that can I order Car Multimedia Nav System via Ali Express? Will there be any additional approval required? NOC from PTA too? (I dont think it should be as long as there is no sim card slot.

    Regards
    Hannan

  • @sajidsadeem:disqus Please share the store link here ASAP

    Q k bht saare stores Pakistan m ship nh kr re h..

    • It supports both FDD and TDD. Even though it is a China version (which uses TDD mostly), the phone supports all frequency bands in Pakistan, including all 3G and 4G LTE bands here.

  • Well, very clear explanatory procedure. Infact, my previous Registered China Post -USB Device reached to Islamabad, but still not received- Complaint launched but of no use. We have to pursue because,if i want Govt sector to contact me it’s a dream. Pak Post shud have to be privatize.
    No response from Pak Post, as every one only spent a day for time pass. Seriously, i never seen an effort from Pak Post to deliver mobile/item to user.

  • @sajidsadeem:disqus Bro please paste Store link here as I am unable to find your said Store on Aliexpress, please paste here will be highly appreciable..!!
    :)

  • Same Phone private courier se mangwao like DHL, Fedex etc phir dekho kia kia charges lagay gay ap ko , 456$ k phone per almost ap ko 22000 Rs Duty per jaye ge
    Sales tax
    Withholding tax
    General duty
    Custom clearence
    Custom duty
    Airport fee
    Ground handling charges
    Civil aviation charges
    Airport stamp charges
    Gateway pass
    Runway pass
    Repacking charges
    Processing charges

  • @sajidsadeem:disqus Can you share the link of PTA, where to create account. I can’t find that link..

  • Hi,

    Did anyone buy used mobile from ebay and ship to Pakistan through DHL or FedEx ?
    Do I still need to pay duty and sales tax and other stuff ? Or I will get mobile at home ?

    Thanks

  • Assalam o Alikum,
    I have purchased a phone from China and it has already reached local post office. I have received detention notice by customs. The problem arrising here is that the Detention Notice containing IMEI numbers of my phone do nat match each other (first 8 digits of do no match for sim 1&2) . This is the reason online system of PTA not allowing me to apply for NOC. Please help apparently i’m in a deep problem here.
    Thanking you guys in advance

    • Go to your relevant post office and ask them to show you the package. From there you can get your correct IMEI numbers. You can also get your correct IMEI numbers from the store you bought it from.

  • I live in Sahiwal. And i got the detention memo letter from IMO LAHORE.
    I also Applied for NOC.
    Now i just wanted to know that where would i go when i received NOC. is it SAHIWAl post or LAHORE IMO ??

  • I want to know a thing i ordered a smartphone from gearbest from last 4 days the status is”PKKHI ARRIVED AT TRANSIT AIRPORT” will i get some kind of notification to do custom clearance

  • I have 2 questions.
    1_Agr banda phone Aliexpress jesi website se import karaya ya phr yha ksi local shop se buy kare to prices me faraq padega ya nhe.

    2_ Agr phone total 45k ~ 49K tak ki khareedi gyi hai Aliexpress se to us me saare tax mila k kul lum sum kitna banega

  • Well the mentioned breief explanation above is very clear cut that how ince can import phone in Pakistan.. Thank you so much bro! The process really helped me for importing mine :)

  • Thank you brother for your valuable information. Today my father also received the same detention letter from GPO Lahore for the Tab i ordered for my nephew Rs. 7000.

    Now he is too old to go to Lahore GPO and im not in Pakistan. Im coming in June so is it safe to be the tab with them until i come and receive it no problem? Can i keep it there for 5 months? If no then can anyone go and collect it on my behalf? No problem?


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