A ‘mobile tax policy‘ for foreign visitors and travellers returning to Pakistan has been announced, and the Federal Board of Revenue has released the details of duties it has imposed on imported handsets.
For people still confused about how the two things affect them, we’ve put together this brief explainer to help them navigate the process.
How-to Register mobile phone you have?
The registration process is entirely voluntary. When you arrive in the country, you can register mobile phone at the Customs counter at the airport you land at.
You can download and print the declaration form beforehand and hand it to the authorities to save time.
In simple words and scenario, when You will arrive on Airport; collect your luggage first. After collection of luggage, take guidance from any staff about PTA counter. Go there and ask them to register IMEI of your phone.
I will advice you that, if you have more than one phone for regeneration, then submit most expansive phone first. Because fist phone will be registered for free of any tax or duty (From 17th of july 2019 government has ceased the opportunity of free registration of one phone. You will have to pay tax in each phone you carry). You should register your mobile phone within 60 days after arrival in Pakistan. After that your phone’s IMEI will be blocked and you will not be able to use any Pakistani mobile network on that phone. Then ask them to register your other phones if you are bringing more than one ( upto 5 phones in total). Note that: any of your phone, you ever used in Pakistan before 15th of January 2019 is already registered and complaint. If you have those type of phones, no need to stop on airports. But if you have new phones along with your used phone. Then put those old phones in your pockets which you have used inside Pakistan before. And ask them to register your new phone. Again remember that very first phone will be free of any tax, sosubmit your most expansive phone 1st. Also read; Government to start new and easy online System for mobile phones registration.
You can download this form Here.
Don’t Want To Stop On Airport?
You can also leave the airport and have your mobile phone registered at a Custom House near your location within 15 days of arrival.
The Custom House Karachi is located near the KPT Head Office in Kharadar. Custom House Lahor is located near the AG Office in Anarkali. Custom House Islamabad is located near the KRL Hospital in G-9/1. Custom House Peshawar is located in University Town off GT Road.
Your mobile phone will not be confiscated during the process of registration. You will be asked to provide a 15 digit IMEI number for your device at Customs and a proof of identity (whichever is applicable).
Customs will use that information to register the device’s IMEI against your name.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has shared this video detailing the mobile device registration process for international passengers if you need further help.
How much will the registration cost me?
The first device is duty-free!
All persons flying into Pakistan are allowed to register one handset without having to pay any duty charges.
Furthermore, you do not have to register or pay any duty charges on mobile devices that will be used on a roaming network (i.e., used with a foreign SIM card), or which will be used in Pakistan for less than 30 days.
Lastly, if you are carrying a phone that was used in Pakistan with a local service provider SIM before December 1, you do not need to worry about anything. That device is already registered on the relevant authority’s monitoring system.
In the case of extra devices, you will be informed about the taxes applicable to them based on their pre-assessed value. You will be asked to settle those taxes before your device can be registered.
Here is an Example of Charges you will pay on a phone regarding its Price. A phone of 100 thousand rupees cost you approximately 40 thousand.
Why is this system in place?
The government is basically attempting to control the influx of smuggled mobile devices through a system called ‘DIRBS’. That’s short for Device Identification Registration & Blocking System.
PTA Director ‘Type Approvals’ Nauman Khalid told us that DIRBS forces anyone who plans to import a mobile device or purchase an imported device within Pakistan to ensure that the device’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number is “PTA approved and compliant”.
This basically means that the PTA keeps an eye on all mobile phones brought into the country and makes sure they are taxed properly under the tax regime defined by the government.
Smuggling phones into the country had previously been a big problem and DIRBS has been set up to render smuggled phones useless as communications devices. With a flip of a (virtual) switch, any unregistered device will be unable to register onto a mobile phone network (and therefore make phone calls, send and receive messages, use a mobile data network, etc).