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Customs to charge people for carrying extra mobile phones to Pakistan

Rs40,000 smartphone will become 40% more expensive

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 13, 2018 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
Posted: Dec 13, 2018 | Last Updated: 3 years ago

Rs40,000 smartphone will become 40% more expensive

In a move that has kept the expats as well as Pakistanis, who frequently travel abroad on their toes, the government has started charging a significantly high duty on smartphones being brought to Pakistan.

It is applicable to everyone from commercial importers to passengers travelling to Pakistan. All expats coming to Pakistan for New Year’s celebration or a Pakistani returning from an official trip abroad will have to pay the duty if they are carrying additional smartphones.

If you are only carrying one mobile phone, then you won’t have to pay the duty. However, if you are carrying more then you will have to pay the tax on them. You will also not be allowed to carry more than five mobile phones in a year.

Related: Overseas Pakistanis must pay duty on extra mobile phones: Fawad Chaudhry

The duty structure is complex, but don’t worry as SAMAA Digital has done the math for you. If you are carrying an extra mobile phone worth Rs40,000, you will have to pay another Rs16,100 or 40% in different duties and taxes, which will take its overall cost to Rs56,100. The duty for every set varies depending upon its price. The following table can be helpful in finding out how much you will pay for the mobile phone:

According to officials familiar with the matter, the duties apply to both new (packed) and used (unpacked) phones with an IMEI and SIM function. However, presently the government is facilitating used phones and only new (packed) phones – in case of a second phone – is being levied with the new Customs duty. The government has already approved duties for the used phones and the law is being made in this regard.

Critics say such high duties on imports of mobiles will hurt both the traders, as well as consumers. Higher duties will make devices more expensive and out of reach for the marginalised segment and deprive them of all the benefits the internet has to offer. It will slow down internet penetration and growth of an internet-based economy, they say.

However, the government says it has to take this step to stop the smuggling of mobile phones, which cost the exchequer millions in tax evasion.

The old tax structure is very complex and the government is working on simplifying it, a customs official said requesting anonymity. The objective is to stop smuggling first since up to 40% of our imports are smuggled products, he said. “Once, we have done away with it and simplified the tax structure, the government will certainly consider reducing taxes, especially on low-end phones.”

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  1. Waqar  December 14, 2018 9:10 am/ Reply

    This is ridiculous. Petty and insincere. Each expatriate spends $2500 per visit, see it disappear.
    What’s next, Tax on breathing outdoors?
    Circus clowns clowning.

    • Mohammed Bilal  August 15, 2019 9:54 pm/ Reply

      This is disgusting..i have 2 personel mobile phones and i have to pay stupid tax on a mobile which i own!!!.. totaly stupid decision i will not travel to Pakistan again, i was due to go pakistan on 31st August 2019 but now i have cancelled my tickets and flying to aTurkey instead..

  2. sab  December 14, 2018 4:20 pm/ Reply

    Not good step. Every expat is not a smuggler. People who do it will alwsys find a way

  3. Anonymous  December 14, 2018 7:48 pm/ Reply


  4. Ali  December 14, 2018 10:05 pm/ Reply

    Imran khan said overseas employers are the real pakistani thn what the hell is this . He must be take back such kind of foolish and disgusting decision. All expat condemned his approval and decision. We already paying high taxes in gulf and arabs country.

    • someone  March 13, 2019 11:49 pm/ Reply

      hahaha there is no tax in gulf and arab countries

      • Anonymous  March 18, 2019 12:18 pm/ Reply

        @someone are you sure? Please before saying anything, do some study.

  5. Anonymous  December 15, 2018 7:31 pm/ Reply

    Govt. of Pakistan must give a permission of at least 2 mobile phones p/person whether travelling in/out.

  6. Ali  December 15, 2018 9:06 pm/ Reply

    This is insane
    We are paying tax here in UK and then if wanna buy a gift for our love ones than we have to pay tax in Pakistan as well , this is totally unacceptable

  7. Ali from London  December 15, 2018 9:07 pm/ Reply

    This is insane
    We are paying tax here in UK and then if wanna buy a gift for our love ones than we have to pay tax in Pakistan as well , this is totally unacceptable

  8. Khurram  December 16, 2018 9:18 am/ Reply


    For benefit of people travelling into Pak from abroad, the mobile tax policy for you is:
    1) One phone allowed to be registered as duty free 2) No Registration/Duty needed on any phone(s) using roaming 3) No Reg/Duty needed if phone(s) to be used in Pak for less than 30 days.

    (Minister of State for Revenue, twitted on 8:16 PM – 10 Dec 2018)

    Further tweets ins same thread concludes, that; Its a voluntary declaration. Registration can be done at custom houses too. Voluntary means that airports are not the route to register. And there is no compulsion in registering. But non custom paid phones that are not registered will get deactivated after 30 days.

  9. Dr A H Shaikh  December 16, 2018 4:41 pm/ Reply

    It is rather silly. People coming on for a month or so do carry two phones. So minimum two phones (used) should be allowed

  10. Zohaib  December 16, 2018 5:57 pm/ Reply

    This is an excellent move by the govt. People who don’t live abroad don’t know that how some of our nationals use the mobile contract scheme to smuggle 4-5 mobiles each trip and make money while never giving that money back to the mobile companies and giving a bad name to our country. If u want to give a gift to ur loved one then buy it from Pak as everything is available here. Excellent move to stop smuggling.

    • Imran  February 6, 2019 1:08 am/ Reply

      then what about those 90% people who do not smuggle??? And to me this is absolutely bullshit move and not even 1% people appreciating it just bcuz phone prices in pakistan will be sky high since this shitty gov has already screwed economy! Any sane person knows that higher currency prices will make phones and other products even more high!

  11. Azzee  December 17, 2018 2:58 pm/ Reply

    Charging Tax on already tax payed mobile from country of purchased. They must exempt overseas who are sending remittances every month through legal channels. Bad Decision

  12. Me.  December 18, 2018 3:20 am/ Reply

    This is BS. If they want to stop smugglers, let everyone register for free. Allow two phones at least. Most of us carry two phones.

  13. Anonymous  December 18, 2018 6:14 am/ Reply

    Good effort,improve standards of Pakistan mobiles and promote business for local people

  14. husnain  December 18, 2018 2:53 pm/ Reply

    Will this tax applicable on the phone which a person has for some time if he traveled aborad 2 months before, after that they applied these tax. On coming back, he has a new phone with the old one will this apply for a new one as the proves he is using for more than a year in Pakistan

  15. a pakistani  December 19, 2018 12:39 pm/ Reply

    the new pakistan???? whats next
    i feel really cold and do wear a Pj under my paints. is there a tax to pay? please let me know


  16. Kashif  December 20, 2018 1:48 am/ Reply

    Absolutely pathetic law..!
    What the hell they are thinking, now a days keeping two smartphones is very common everywhere…

  17. Hanif  December 20, 2018 2:10 am/ Reply

    Every civilised country in the world charges tax on mobile phones, no wonder the country is bankrupt. Can you buy a phone without tax in the UK, answer no, then why pakistan.

  18. Fahad  December 20, 2018 2:15 pm/ Reply

    I don’t know who is behind this outlandish plan. as far as the concern to stop smuggling phones can be registered through PTA and communication companies that’s it. government is just taking the money.

  19. Dash  December 21, 2018 7:37 pm/ Reply

    It is not a good decision made to stop smuggling. Isn’t it ridiculous to pay an extra amount of tax for the product for or which the tax has already been paid in the country of purchase. Merely depriving the people living overseas not to bring anything for their loved ones when they are coming to Pakistan.

  20. Khan  December 21, 2018 8:25 pm/ Reply

    Why to pay tax on purchasing the phone that we have already buy including of taxes in its price, do we pay double tax on a single phone, is this initiative is correct…?
    When we buy a phone from a retailer it includes tax and profit amount of the seller, now they want to pay another tax on the retail price of the phone…
    Truly unacceptable…..

  21. Deemi  December 21, 2018 8:29 pm/ Reply

    It is not a good decision made to stop smuggling. Isn’t it ridiculous to pay an extra amount of tax for the product for or which the tax has already been paid in the country of purchase. Merely depriving the people living overseas not to bring anything for their loved ones when they are coming to Pakistan.

  22. T ZAMAN  December 22, 2018 5:58 pm/ Reply

    The current law in relation to mobile handsets is completely wrong this will lead to no gifts of mobile phones for the poor friends relatives of the overseas Pakistani this will result in a decrease in the number of handsets activated in Pakistan by the poor which will result in less revenue to the tax man through mobile top ups I can’t think why this kind of law is being implemented in a third world country this is a huge mistake by the current PTI government it seems they have no clue what’s really going on with the public if the government wants to generate more tax revenue then then target the large organisation that do not pay tax or there utilities get your house in order mr Khan I am your supporter but some of your policies are completely out of order and will not be acceptable by the general public of Pakistan as well as the overseas Pakistanis.

  23. Kamil Shah  December 23, 2018 1:44 am/ Reply

    A good move, although in my humble opinion at least 2 phones per person should be allowed, about the tax, try taking more than 1 carton of cigarettes and you will find out how much tax the gora countries charge, anyone who wants to splurge on gifts should buy in Pakistan, but clothing, shoes, chocolates and other items could also be gifted than phones.
    But if u have to gift multiple expensive phones then grow up and pay the due taxes as we all know that 1-2 phones might be for gifts or personal use but 3-4-5 phones are certainly for the purpose of sale/profit.

  24. Nabeel  December 23, 2018 11:35 am/ Reply

    I am overseas Pakistani, and i travelled all the way from UK to Pak to vote pti, i think it was the biggest mistake i ever made, because now i PTI is bitting its biggest asset (overseas). I have a big family backhome and they only want mobile phone, thanks to pti for ripping oversease in better way.

  25. Ad  December 23, 2018 2:26 pm/ Reply

    Govt. of Pakistan must give a permission of at least 2 mobile phones p/person whether travelling in/out.

  26. Wk  December 24, 2018 8:27 pm/ Reply

    What else can we expect from this crackpot!
    This is what happens when donkey becomes king of the jungle

  27. The night Riders  December 26, 2018 9:52 am/ Reply

    Don’t blame overseas for sumgling, real sumglers are inside parliament of Pakistan and high ranks in Pakistan beurucrasy, and mostly FBR are supporting them the police department itself selling sumgling goods on public. The FC officials are facilitating them to cross the borders etc, most example of sumgling are Ayan Ali.

  28. Zeeshan  December 28, 2018 8:35 pm/ Reply

    what will be the import tax on iphone X Max ? and how will it cost in pakistani Rupees , Can anyone Calculate plzz

  29. Just me  January 6, 2019 12:45 am/ Reply

    I believe Pakistanis love to avoid paying taxes or duties.. If this move helps the country a sincere Pakistani should be fine with it. I have seen Pakistani follow the law and pay whatever ridiculous taxes there are outside Pakistan however they become so vocal if they have to pay a little extra within Pakistan.
    I do understand the point of 2 phones for personnel use and believe it to be a valid feedback and it should be revisited.
    I have seen some people bringing 10 phones on each visit – not so good for Pakistan’s Economy

  30. Anonymous  January 8, 2019 5:04 am/ Reply

    Is it one phone for whole family or one phone for husband, wife, children(how many you bring with you)???

  31. BA  January 8, 2019 7:24 am/ Reply

    I was going to bring two used phones with me when i visit for 2 weeks. One with the US sim and one to put in Pakistani SIM card. Will I have to pay taxes on one of the sets?

  32. RAK  January 9, 2019 12:21 pm/ Reply


  33. Asad bin khalid  January 25, 2019 8:26 pm/ Reply

    Shame on you pti govt what the hell is the cancel this tex

  34. Mazher Kaleem  February 16, 2019 11:21 pm/ Reply

    Why should i buy a phone from Pakistan for almost double price??? Smugglers will find a way to bring mobile phones to Pakistan.
    I have started Hating PTI and no Vote for PTI next time.

  35. Mazher Kaleem  February 16, 2019 11:23 pm/ Reply

    So this is how PTI is facilitating overseas Pakistanis who send billions of dollars to Pakistan.
    No Vote for PTI next time

  36. amin  February 19, 2019 5:57 pm/ Reply

    can some one tell me this TAX imposed on new mobile or also for used. ? if I bring used mobile then also will pay duty on it..


  37. Ahmed  February 23, 2019 5:50 pm/ Reply

    Can anyone under the age of 18 bring more than one smartphone?

  38. Ghulam Abbas  February 26, 2019 12:25 pm/ Reply

    all oversea citizen should purchase gifts from pakistan.

  39. Uzma  March 9, 2019 12:22 pm/ Reply

    Can any body tell 10 year chiled can cary a phone to pakistan or just adults?

  40. Adil  March 19, 2019 9:19 am/ Reply

    Its just a stupid policy ever… Government just creating a way to collect money by hook or by crook…

  41. Shahzad Shabbir  March 22, 2019 6:49 am/ Reply

    I live in sweden.
    I have 2 phones.
    One packed and one is used.
    The latter that is used i have brought it
    To pakistan before so it is registered in 2018.
    Now whats structute of custom.
    Or it will cost no taxes.

  42. XSmax  April 6, 2019 5:15 pm/ Reply

    I have a query and any help would be highly appreciated. I’m coming from Canada in a week or so. I will be bringing in 2 phones. One of them is already registered with PTA as I had used that phone in Pakistan in 2017-2018. My second phone is new and not yet regstered.
    My question is that I would I be charged any duty on my new phone ?
    If we go by the “one duty free phone per year” policy then my new phone would actually be my first one of the year 2019 that has yet to be registered. So, I shouldn’t be charged any duty.
    Any comments on that?

  43. Anonymous  April 13, 2019 12:30 am/ Reply

    Thanks to the government for disillusioning the nation about THE NEW PAKISTAN by making life more difficult for laymen.

  44. Khurram  April 17, 2019 10:48 am/ Reply

    Can we bring also phone in children luggage?

  45. Hina  April 17, 2019 8:36 pm/ Reply

    I received nokia 7.1 from abroad and there is 13000 tax for PTA registration, phone is second hand and tax is too much, please help me what can i do now :/

  46. Anonymous  April 25, 2019 3:36 pm/ Reply

    it is not good. now you cannot buy a gift for your family.

  47. KK  May 8, 2019 3:54 pm/ Reply

    Who is giving this stupid mashwaray ti Imran Khan .. People living abroad supports Imran Khan now after became PM the 1st tax he imposed on overseas pakis.. wah bhai wah .. at least one extra mobile should be allowed for gift.. do u think we will become rich for bringing one mobile

    • Bilal  August 15, 2019 10:04 pm/ Reply

      Stupid decision I’m so pissed off, maine ticket book karway hue thi 31st August 2019 ke…is tax ki waja se me tickets cancel karwane ka soch raha hu…..Pakistan ab travel hi ney karna I will be going to Turkey instead..this is […] ridiculous !!!!!

  48. Masood ur Rahman  May 11, 2019 1:18 pm/ Reply

    it is totally unfair for foreigners those are staying away from their country for many years and while they brought and extra phone for their beloved one upon their arrival this gunda Tax implemented on him. I think government should have to review on this black rule. or else beesure the quality products for all pakistanis in Pakistan.

  49. Anonymous  May 14, 2019 2:58 am/ Reply

    very very poor thoughts the GOVT. have………..at least two phone must be allowed.

  50. Naveed Rajput  May 22, 2019 10:50 am/ Reply

    I tried to register my Mobile phone through PTA Site which i purchased in Rs. 16500/= Box pack, Lenovo K5 Play, But what i saw Rs.8000 Duty Tax fee Bullshit i broke my mobile by throwing in anger if the reg fee is 500 to 1000 acceptable but 8000 why are you sucking our blood.

  51. Anonymous  May 27, 2019 3:26 pm/ Reply

    Prime Minister of Pakistan….. Imran People trust you, but they don’t know that you don’t know how to run a Government…

    You already cross 60 you should get retired…..

    Live your life between poor class people at least one week with out taking any facility and face your new implementations like inflations, taxes kind of buillshits.

  52. M yaseen  August 15, 2019 10:09 pm/ Reply

    This is bullshit im due to travel to Islamabad on (31st August 2019) i am thinking to cancel my tickets and going to Turkey instead…i think they dont want people traveling to Pakistan anymore, TOTAL STUPID AND DISGUSTING DECISION, we should be aloud 2 mobiles per person atleast!!!

  53. Naveed  August 19, 2019 11:31 pm/ Reply

    This whole thing by government is to stop smuggling of mobile phones from abroad but it is adversely affecting overseas Pakistanis like us who genuinely bring one or two personal phones for usage in our country
    For example my wife is a non-resident of pakistan but due to her sickness she is staying for few months in pak , abroad mobile phone is not working anymore and we had to buy a local new phone (the local phone was assembled in pak itself which didn’t work as it was supposed due to poor quality, another issue which we all face : (
    They could have done substantial steps to stop the data theft of expatriates for the purpose of registering phones. They could have linked it to biometrics to make sure that no one misused it. But instead they do it in an entirely wrong way. Government not doing their job but instead banning all phones.
    This is not fair to sincere overseas Pakistanis like us who earn hard money and send back to country through our local banks and this is what we receive in response

  54. Summer awan  October 28, 2019 7:06 am/ Reply

    My question is that every passenger is a summgler ? Our government must crack down the real summglers instead of full their pocket with money on everyone’s tax on mobiles phones. It’s a totally a wrong rule make international passengers to impose the pain of tax on mobile. After a long period of their lives they come to meet with love ones in the home country. When they will face that rule on arriving the airport they will think they were good to not cone.So please Mr Imran khan give some open way for our passengers who travelled from far from to meet with their family and give them exit with happy way.please end the taxes on 5 mobiles. It will be a good for our passengers and tourists too .thanks

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