Mobile phones under personal baggage exempted from taxes

KARACHI: The government has exempted mobile phones imported under personal baggage scheme from duties and taxes, officials said on Monday.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said mobile phones brought in the country under baggage scheme will be exempted from duties and taxes subject to certain terms and conditions.

Customs authorities said the FBR issued a customs general order (CGO) 10 of 2019 dated July 5, which clearly mentioned that the travelers could register mobile devices brought in under baggage within 60 days of their arrival in the country.

“After expiry of aforesaid time limit, such mobile devices shall be registered on payment of leviable duty/taxes along with prescribed fine notified for the purpose,” the FBR’s CGO said.

The FBR amended the previous CGO issued on January 28, 2019 to make changes related to procedure for clearance and registration of mobile phones. It said foreign passengers should submit applications and provide information, which would be validated through Web-based One Customs – the automated clearance system of the Pakistan Customs.

“The system shall electronically generate payment slip id (PSID) for payment of duty/taxes,” the CGO added. The FBR said the applicant will have an option to pay the leviable duty/taxes through online banking, ATM, mobile banking and bank branches of all leading banks.

Once the system confirms the payment of duty/taxes, the mobile device will be white-listed in the system of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). As per the new laws applicable from January 15, 2019, no mobile phones would have active connection without confirmation from PTA’s devices identification, registration and blocking system.

In order to facilitate international passengers, the FBR introduced online interface for the collection of duty and taxes from mobile phones and subsequently registration on the PTA’s website.

The customs authorities said the FBR’s online system is directly connected to the PTA’s system. Travelers are required to provide information, including passport number, computerised national identity card, and international mobile equipment identity number.

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