Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has announced flat taxes on mobile phones import in Pakistan to help people see how much are they paying in duties when they go out to buy a smartphone or ask an international traveler to bring them one as a gift.
In the latest budget 2019-20, the government proposed huge taxes on the mobile phones import and the new circular shows almost the same rates and has divided them into two categories; commercial imports and baggage imports.
|Mobile Phone Prices||Fixed Tax Rate for Commercial Import||Fixed Tax Rate for Baggage Import|
|Less than $30||Rs. 370||Rs. 300|
|$30-$100||Rs. 3670||Rs. 2940|
|$100-$200||Rs. 5440||Rs. 4510|
|$200-$350||Rs. 7150||Rs. 6180|
|$350-$500||Rs. 20,650||Rs. 17,650|
|More than $500||Rs. 36, 720||Rs. 31, 520|
The government has tried to provide some relief for the baggage imports but it is astounding to see that the smartphone users have to pay more than Rs. 30,000 in taxes if they want to purchase a flagship smartphone in Pakistan.
Procedure for mobile phones brought in by international travelers
The government has recently withdrawn the exemption of taxes on a single smartphone brought in by international travelers and thus all devices will be liable to pay duties to operate in the country.
To bring a smartphone to Pakistan, international travelers will have to apply online using PTA’s application service for registration and payment of duty/taxes and the system will then generate an electronic payment slip ID which can be cleared through online banking, ATMs, mobile banking and all bank branches across the country.
Once PTA’s system will confirm the payment, the imported mobile phone will be white-listed on DIRBS. After bringing the smartphone to Pakistan, the international travelers will have 60 days to register their phones with the authorities or they will have to pay extra in penalties.
With the prices of mobile phones already touching the sky, the new taxes on mobile phones move will only make it harder for people to get their hands on a quality mid-range or flagship phone because of the unchanged purchasing power of the user. With the budget phones falling below Rs. 30,000, it is painful to foresee the future of the handset amidst the dream of digitization.