Chinese passengers protest mobile customs duty by lying on floor at airport

Written by Shaheryar Ehsan ·  56 sec read >

Lian Zhehfu and Lei Zhentao protested at the new Islamabad International Airport regarding the customs tax of $285 on 4 of the 6 handsets they brought in. As per PTA policy, foreign passengers are exempt from taxes on one handset but they must pay the fees on any other GSM device they bring alongside them. If the applicable taxes are not paid during the 30 day period, the devices will stop functioning in the country.

What happened afterward is incredibly interesting, $285 is a hefty amount to be charged after someone has just arrived from another country. While they paid the amount without any ifs and buts, however, they lay on the exit of the international arrival lounge to protest the hefty tax that they had just been charged. The duo said that since they come to Pakistan several times a year, they shouldn’t pay taxes every time they bring in an extra cell phone.

The DIBRS system by PTA has yet to be implemented and after the system will turn on, it will theoretically disabled all devices whose IMEIs are non-compliant with PTA. Hence those devices which are not properly registered and verified are at a risk of being disabled. The same system will be used to disable devices of foreigners in Pakistan if the respective taxes have not been paid.

The Chinese men ended their protest after the Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel informed them that their concerns will be forwarded to the relevant authorities for consideration.

Do you think the tax rate imposed on imported GSM devices is justified?

Image Credit and Source: Dawn

Written by Shaheryar Ehsan
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