The Express Tribune for Business in a report says that travelers going to Pakistan are now allowed to enter the country with only one mobile phone duty-free in one year.
Though maximum of five phones can be brought into the country per year under the new regulation, only one of them will be duty-free. During the announcement of this major policy shift, government declared that this move is to ensure that those traveling to Pakistan “will be allowed to bring in only one cellphone per year free of customs duty as per the personal baggage rules.”
Custom duty is certain to be paid on the extra four handsets to require service in Pakistan beyond a month period. Previously, government had announced on its micro-blogging portal that “the cabinet has decided that mobile phones sold after 1st December 2018 that are not custom duty paid be deactivated by PTA after a month has passed.”
But the latest move will not affect the phones currently in use or activated in Pakistan before December 1. These phones too will not require any registration in order to function.
Government also proclaimed a relaxation of policies in regard to commercial import of new and used mobile phones in the country, adding that the ban on commercial import of used phones has been lifted in the device models conform to PTA regulations and duties and taxes have paid as at when due.
Government also advised that if they don’t want to involve themselves in unnecessary hassles, they should send the IMI number of new phones, or phones that may be using a new SIM in to a certain number (8484) to know about the phone’s legal status. A phone’s IMEI number can be found in the mobile phone’s box or a user could just dial *#06# on the phone’s screen.
Pakistan authorities claim that mobile phones worth Rs 82 million come through its borders formally every year but phones worth Rs 2.5 billion come through informal channels every year. And even though the sales of second-hand phones has been banned in the country, those phones are still available for sale in the market today.
The information minister said that the sale of second-hand phones is banned but these phones are still available in markets.