The heavily imposed taxes by the government of Pakistan have created much rage and frustration among people. In order to make sure not a drop of relief is given to them the government has passed a new rule whereby, international travelers have to pay tax even if they bring a single phone to Pakistan. Previously, it was reported that international travelers were allowed to bring one phone by the government without paying any taxes, if it is registered with the Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS). However, this law has now been altered according to local media reports.
The government was compelled to revise its decision due to the confession made by the PTA. Based on the recent course of events it was identified that illegal registration of thousands of mobile devices was made through leaked passengers’ data, such as Passport details. Therefore, once the official notification will be issued all incoming international travelers will have to pay duty even for their very first phone registration and no duty-free phone will be allowed. The rule passed earlier is suspended due to the misuse of the baggage facility by the public. Talking to the media about FBR on budget 2019-20 Dr.Hamid Ateeq (Member Inland Revenue and Policy) said that the blocked/smuggled phones are being registered in the black market for as low as Rs.1000 hence, the measures are rightfully taken.
Earlier PTA made amendments in its standards according to which, in a year an individual can only bring five mobile phones to Pakistan. Among these the first phone could be registered with DIRBS without paying any tax although, the remaining could not be registered without fulfilling the tax requirements. Also, note that no registration is necessary if the duty-free phone is to be used for less than thirty days in Pakistan. Now that the new rule is introduced from July 1st 2019 the travelers need to follow it, according to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).These newly imposed taxes have struck international travelers badly who, reserve the right to bring duty free products along with them. The travelers should be exempted from paying these unnecessary levied taxes. Government is requested to deal with the issue regarding registration of mobile phones on priority basis, and in some other way that can give the international travelers ease to bring duty free products to Pakistan rightfully.