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The government has recently withdrawn the exemption of taxes on a single smartphone brought in by international travelers and thus all devices will be liable to pay duties to operate in the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.

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