Read these FAQs if you are confused about DIRBS and bringing smartphones from abroad

By Shaoor Munir on
December 21, 2018
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The government of Pakistan recently changed their smartphone policy regarding bringing devices from abroad. This has caused a lot of confusion among people traveling to and from Pakistan. Do I bring my second phone with me? Do I have to register my used phone too or is this policy only for new phones? There were a lot of questions and not enough answers from official channels. Leading to a huge number of confused people turning to social media to get help from others regarding the new policy.

To help such individuals who are confused about these policy changes, FBR has issued some FAQs which cover the most common inquiries related to DIRBS and paying duties on smartphones coming in from abroad. Here are those FAQs:

  • Can I bring one mobile phone to Pakistan without payment of duty/taxes?
    • Yes, a passenger is allowed to bring one mobile phone without payment of duty/taxes provided his stay abroad is more than seven days. Such allowance will only be admissible once during the year.
  • If I bring more than one Mobile Phone, do I need to pay duty/taxes?
    • Yes, only one mobile phone will be allowed free of duty/taxes. In the case of other mobile phones, applicable duty/taxes will be paid.
  • Do I have to pay duty/taxes on a mobile phone which I have been using in Pakistan after returning from abroad?
    • No. A mobile phone in the personal use of passenger, which has been activated/ registered in Pakistan, does not require registration/payment of duty/taxes on his return to Pakistan being a case of re-import of baggage. Such a case will be treated independently of the allowances admissible to mobile devices under the baggage rules.
  • How and where can I register my mobile device if I forget to declare the same on arrival at the airport?
    • The passenger can approach the nearest customs office for registration of the mobile device within 15 days of the arrival date.
  • Can I avail the allowances admissible under the baggage rules if I forget to declare at the time of arrival at the airport?
    • Yes, the international passenger can avail admissible allowances at the time of registration at the customs office.
  • I am roaming in Pakistan; will I be able to use my mobile device in Pakistan?
    • Yes, Roamers will be able to use their mobile devices as per DIRBS SOP. The System will accommodate visitors to Pakistan from overseas who are here for the short visit for personal or business purpose as following:
      1. A foreign roamer is allowed to continue using foreign SIMs without any time limit and without getting CoC from PTA.
      2. If a roamer starts using local SIM in his/her mobile device, he/she will not be considered a roamer and will be required to fulfill the conditions of a compliant device.
      3. Such user will be notified of the deficiency of his/her mobile device through SMS and will have 30 days to complete the requirements before the noncompliant mobile device is blocked.
      4. If the visitor wants to use local SIM for a period longer than 30 days, he/she is required to get the CoC from PTA along with payment of duty/taxes.
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