Revised currency carrying limits: SBP seeks FBR’s help for assistance

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has advised Customs Preventive to coordinate with Director State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for devising the appropriate mechanism to enforce revised foreign currency carrying limit from Pakistan.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has approached Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for devising a mechanism to enforce revised foreign currency carrying limits for persons travelling out of Pakistan.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has recently prescribed certain currency ceilings to be taken out of Pakistan in US dollars or equivalent in other foreign currencies by persons travelling from Pakistan to abroad.

The central bank has requested the Federal Board of Revenue to take necessary arrangements at land, air and sea exit routes falling under the respective jurisdictions are made for effective implementation of the revised limit.

According to the prescribed limits, persons up to five years of age are allowed to carry foreign currency equivalent to $1000 out of Pakistan per visit with an annual ceiling of $6,000; persons between the age of five to 18 years are allowed to carry $5,000 or equivalent out of Pakistan per visit with an annual ceiling of $30,000; while persons above 18 years of age are allowed to carry $10,000 or equivalent out of Pakistan per visit with an annual ceiling of $60,000.

It may be recalled that a special checking squad (SCS) was operative at Customs Preventive, which served as an intelligence agency and this agency made record performance against the smuggling of gold and foreign currency.

However, former Chairman FBR Abdullah Yousaf back in 2005 ended this squad, which resulted in a jump in gold and foreign currency smuggling. Moreover, the baggage scheme and Transfer of Residence scheme were largely misused.

Further, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) reduced the rewards for the informers, which discouraged flow of sensitive information pertaining to smuggling and misuse of certain schemes.

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