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!


  • Thank U So Much (How About Additional Charges for Online Payment) ???

    • Adeel

      Thank you to ap ne aise kiya hai jaise abhi k abhi ap order karne wale ho ?

      • masoom wahab

        bhai sahab (abdul wahab)khud custom clearance se related hain or yaha masoom ban ka sawal karrhe hain :DD

        • Adeel

          Abdul Wahab custom clearance se related ka to pata nhn but costume clearance se zaroor wabasta honge ?

          • It’s a Part of my job related to Customs Clearance, Relative in Customs & Shipping etc :

            • Wahaab Bhai ap se kuch malumaat laine hay

            • Azam

              Abdul Wahab sab, I have imported smartphone but held at Karachi GPO. They told me to get NOC from PTA. I have got the NOC. Let me know what they going me to do next? The Ali Express online invoice is $169. Kitna tax lagay ga?Ab kia karna chahiye mujhe? unhon ne koi chai pani ka khud to nahi kaha. Help me.

            • osama

              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!

              • Yeah, you will received Courier Arrival Notice / Detention Receipt for releasing of your consignment.
                If still not received then goto Airport GPO Office to ask the Receipt of arrival of goods for taking of NOC from PTA

                • osama

                  I am in lahore which airport Gpo office i would need to visit!

                  • All AirPort have GPO Office inside the Custom Clarence Section.
                    Goto AirPort Custom Area U fill find GPO or ask to someone

    • Sir, Additional charges depend on your Bank. It would be better to ask them for charges.

      • Any Idea What Charges Occurred (Lum Sum)

        • I use mcb lite card and it deducts approximately 2% (that are taxes etc) of the total amount.
          Some cards charge 4% and 4.5% of the orignal amount.

          • Muhammad Waseem

            I use Faisal and Silk Bank Credit cards without any charges. However they charge a little higher exchange rate i.e. Rs 107 when dollar in interbank was 105.

            • Waseem, They dont charge you higher exchange rate, you get dollar at 107 instead of 105 because of taxes, It is same with MCB Lite and It is approximately 2% of the total amount.

        • Grammer niazi

          “Lum sum” Looolll
          aj se abdul wahab ka naam ha Lum sum :PPP
          Mr lum sum
          GOFEY ITS LUMP SUMP

          • Shahzad

            It is not “lump “sump””, it is Lump sum

        • hassancent

          its 109.5pkr per $ on mcb lite card. You can just use 110 or 111pkr to get estimate

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      What do you mean by additional charges?

      • bibi fatma

        sir what if the post office doesnt contact me and steals the phone ?

        • Sajid Khan Lodhy

          If your phone is showing ‘delivered/received at local post office’, it must have a tracking number. Find it and then go to post office and tell them your tracking number, they will search it for you. If they can’t find it, lodge a complaint right there with the post office. Also lodge a complaint with the store you bought it from. If it is actually lost, you will get a refund from your seller in most cases.

  • Abid Ali

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

    I think sales tax and regulatory duty is fixed.

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      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.

  • Adeel

    Sales Tax 1500 PKR
    Ek he murde ko 2 bar phansi pe latkaya hai

  • Steve Johnson

    Why Sales tax?

    • Xahid

      you always pay sales tax on every thing you buy or consume in Pakistan, you just don’t know that …

  • Thank You Sir, This information can be really helpful in future.
    And charges (taxes, customs etc) are way low then what I thought.

  • 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?

    • Pakistan Port Office Received Courier / Air Ship Under EMS China Services

      • Registered Mail is free and EMS is costly and Fast, Both are secure and operated by Pakistan Post,

    • Aadil

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

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      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.

  • imran

    very usefull info, and now i decides not to import any phone,

  • aay aar

    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,.

    • Aadil

      Its mentioned in the article. Xiaomi Online Store is the seller’s name

    • AbdulB1

      it takes 1 week for S. Korea from China but it may take 2 weeks so know this before.

      • aay aar

        Yeah I know as my brother used to order phones to his address.

  • Muhammad Yasir

    i wish we didn’t had to pay unfair customs charges, govt is already looting people dry with draconian taxes !

  • Muhammad Usman Ghani

    Can you please let me know the price of cellphone written on Package?

    Thanks.

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      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

  • Kashif Nawaz

    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.

  • Awais Aslam

    Custom clearness is not easy

  • Noaman Ahmed

    i bought xiaomi redmi note 4x from aliexpress and duties were around 4k
    total cost was 20k …

    • Saad Tariq

      how much was the price at ali express? i too am planning to buy direct from ali express

  • aay aar

    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.

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      Updated it to Global ROM beta. If you can’t do that, then install Google Installer for Xiaomi. It works on China ROM.

      • aay aar

        Thank you, and I also intend to go for global beta ROM. Can you please share the source from where you have got the ROM package (File).

        • Sajid Khan Lodhy

          You can download them here:
          http://en.miui.com/thread-996991-1-1.html

        • Sajid Khan Lodhy

          Get it from MIUI website

          • aay aar

            Hello Sajid, thank you for taking out time to respond, but I cannot see any ROM for Mi Note 3 at the link you have provided.

            • Sajid Khan Lodhy

              You can use Xiaomi EU’s ROM. They are not official but they work fine and have no Chinese apps or texts. Some find them to be better than Xiaomi’s own ROMs.

  • Ali

    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

  • RupeecoPK

    Worth trying http://www.rupeeco.pk which is Pakistan’s first cashback website, we have partnered with AliExpress and offering up to 6% cashback on every purchase.
    https://www.rupeeco.pk/aliexpress-com
    https://www.rupeeco.pk/HowItWorks

  • 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

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      There is no need to get NOC from PTA for products without sim functionality. However, you may have to pay customs and other duties.

  • Mohammed Raheel Jahangeer

    @sajidsadeem:disqus Please share the store link here ASAP

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

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      Xiaomi Online Store on AliExpress. If it’s not shipping to Pakistan, go to BangGood and buy from there. They ship to Pakistan.

      • adnan

        please mention either you bought FDD or TDD version ? which version is working in Pakistan ? ???

  • JohnRed

    Painful long process. No thanks.

  • Wali Khan

    @sajidsadeem:disqus Good guide for importing a phone from AliExpress. I appreciate your efforts.

  • adnan

    please mention either you bought FDD or TDD version ? which version is working in Pakistan ?

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      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.

  • asher

    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.

  • Shahiryar Khan

    Hi, How you have activated your card in paypall? any option if we can add pakistani credit or debit cards in paypall

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      I have no idea, but I think that’s not possible right now as PayPal is not officially available in Pakistan.

  • Mohammed Raheel Jahangeer

    @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..!!
    :)

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      Go through comments above, I have already given the link. If you can’t get it from AE, then try BangGood.

  • Muhammad Naeem Khan

    Thanks man for this information is very useful

  • 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

  • It’s means Pakistani don’t try to buy anything . 5000/- Rs extra they have to pay duties for online purchase….

  • Ismail Akram

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

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      It is right there on their website.

  • Zeeshan

    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

  • Moonbaby

    What happens if i ship using EMS? or DHL?

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      Too costly, don’t use them.

  • Zeeshan Bashir

    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

    • Sajid Khan Lodhy

      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.

  • Haris

    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 ??

    • NOC will delivered directly to GPO contact GPO after 2 to 3 days

  • osama

    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

  • ?MK?

    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

  • Hammad

    Friend of mine want to send me Phone from U.S, is there a possibility to get that phone via mail. Thank you.

  • Abdul

    Someone from India want to send me a phone Gift. will I have to pay customs for this?

    • Abdul

      @AbdulWAHABAlam:disqus brother do you have any knowledge about this?

      • ?MK?

        Pocophone f1 XDD