Govt enormously raises regulatory duty on mobile phones’ import

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March 12, 2019
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In its move to collect maximum revenue by facilitating fair assessment of mobile phones at import stage, the government of Pakistan has just restructured regulatory duty on import value of mobile phones and introduced new flat rates for six different slabs.

As of now, the regulatory duty on import of feature phones valuing up to $30 will be charged at a flat rate of Rs. 1,800 per set, which was previously only Rs. 250. Whereas, for the high-end smartphones valuing more than $500 per set, the import duty will be charged for a whopping Rs.18,500 per set.

Though the step of the government is being portrayed as to lower the tax on budget smartphones and feature phones as compared to high-end phones, yet it’s quite obvious that the only purpose of the government is to generate maximum revenue.

The government via a notification (SRO327 of 2019) has introduced six slabs for regulatory duty on mobile phones’ import with immediate effect. The detailed comparison of previous and new import duty is shared as follow;

Previously mobile phones valuing up to $60 were charged with an import duty of Rs. 250. Whereas phones that cost between $60 to $130 were charged with an import duty of 20 percent and phones valuing more than $130 were charged with 20 percent regulatory duty on import in the country.

Now after the restructuring of regulatory duty on mobile phones through the Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill 2018, mobile phones with an import value between $30 and $100 will be charged at the rate of Rs. 1,800 per set. Similarly, the regulatory duty on import of phones valuing between $100 and $200 will be Rs. 2,700. Meanwhile, the import value of mobile phones ranging from $200 to $350 per set will be charged with Rs. 3,600 regulatory duty per set.

Moreover, the enormously raised regulatory duty affected the high-end and mid-range smartphone users the most. Mobile phone ranging between $350 and $500, will be charged with an import duty at a flat rate of Rs. 10,500, while the regulatory duty will be charged for a massive of Rs. 18,500 per set if a mobile phone has an import value of over $500.

The imports of mobile phones in the country has already declined in the first six months of FY 2018-19. Importers are using identity theft to import phones without paying duties. To restrict this as well as smuggling of mobile phones, the government had introduced a new digital setup Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS).

Via Dawn News

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