KARACHI: The Government of Pakistan has lifted the ban on the import of arms/ammunition of prohibited bores and substituted the value-based authorization (VBA) with quantity-based authorization (QBA) for import of these goods.

According to an official document, semi-automatic rifles of 7.62 mm and rifles of 8 mm to 9 mm bores and arms of calibers higher than 0.22 bore rifles, which earlier were prohibited to be imported as per the Import Policy Order 2013, can now be imported in accordance with Commercial Import of Prohibited and Non-Prohibited Weapons and Ammunition (Regulation) Order, 2014 notified on Friday.

Prior to this Order, a VBA was required for the import of arms & ammunition by a commercial importer, but now a QBA will be required for this purpose as no letter of credit (LC) could be opened without a valid QBA.

The quality-based authorizations (QBAs) for import of prohibited and non-prohibited weapons will be issued for a maximum period of three years.

Any application for issuance of QBA would not be considered unless the arms and ammunition dealer holds a valid licence for import, stock and sale of the arms and ammunition; operates regular commercial business in arms and ammunition as evidenced from annual renewal of arms dealership licences; is a regular sales tax and income tax payer in respect of his arms dealership business; has not been convicted of an offence for willful miss-declaration of quantity, make, category, import-value, etc. of arms and ammunition; and has provided accounts for the last three years in respect of his actual sales and declarations of tax made thereof.

The application would be made through relevant Provincial Home Department or Ministry of Interior, in case of Islamabad Capital Territory or Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The respective Provincial Home Department or Ministry of Interior would, in its no objection certificate, propose quantitative limit for import of the arms and ammunition vis-à-vis the limit approved for dealership licence.

Ministry of Commerce will conduct audit of category pass book (CPB) related details available with the banks and Customs to control the misuse of the QBA and CPB.

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