Pakistanis coming from abroad can only bring one duty free phone from now on

By Shaoor Munir on
November 26, 2018
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The government has approved its new policy regarding duty and taxes on importing smartphones from abroad, and it is confusing a lot of people about what it actually means for people bringing smartphones from abroad for their relatives.

Hammad Azhar, Minister of State for Revenue, has explained the main policy changes in a series of tweets to educate people about how it can affect them in daily life. Let’s go through all the major changes happening as the result of that new policy.

Deactivation of smuggled mobile phones

The cabinet has decided to block all the phones sold after 1st December, which were brought in the country without paying customs duty tax, will be deactivated on 31st December. Remember that this is applicable only for smartphones brought into the country after 1st December, owners of previously brought devices should be not be affected by this policy change.


For consumers buying a phone after 1st December, Hammad Azhar suggests to first send the phone’s IMEI number to 8484 to know about its legal status. This should help prevent consumers from buying a stolen phone dude to negligence.

Commercial import of used smartphones

Confirming recent reports about the government allowing import of used smartphones, the cabinet has officially signed away the ban on commercial import of used smartphones.


Now those phones which conform to PTA’s regulations can be imported in used condition, bringing a huge market of second-hand phones inside the tax net, and potentially reducing the illegal import of such phones which is being fostered by a large grey market in Pakistan.

Carrying phones from abroad

Government is also changing its policy regarding bringing phones from abroad on a personal capacity. From now on, consumers will be allowed one duty-free phone per person, per annum. In addition to that duty-free phone, individuals can bring 4 phones per year from abroad by paying the customs duty tax applicable on them.


So if you are bringing 5 phones with you, you can bring one of them duty free, but you cannot bring in the other 4 phones without paying the custom duty tax on them.

Implementation of these reforms

For the purpose of implementation of these policy reforms, customs’ electronic system has already been integrated with PTA’s DIRBS. IMEI numbers of phones who duty has been paid will automatically will be uploaded to DIRBS, thus ensuring that only duty paid phones work inside Pakistan.

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