Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) has been operational in Pakistan and a huge chunk of illegal smartphones are going to be blocked soon after 60 days of the expiry date deadline.
According to PTA officials, illegal smartphones imported after January 15, 2019, that were neither registered nor paid taxes upon, has been started blocking from March 16, 2019.
The smartphones that do not come with a valid IMEI number will be blocked after the aforementioned date. Other than this, one smartphone is allowed to every passenger per year to bring into Pakistan. On more than one, the user will have to pay taxes.
Earlier the Senate’s Standing Committee strongly opposed this policy and also suggested to wave off the taxes on bringing more than one phones but the policy is still intact. The committee also showed its concern on mobile taxation and advised to revisit the policy.
According to the PTA website, “As per custom baggage rule, an International traveler can avail duty/tax exemption on one mobile device in a calendar year”. This step is taken only to curtail the import of illegal smartphones which will, in turn, increase the foreign exchange.
As per the directions of federal govt. all the devices that are already activated on cellular networks in Pakistan by 15th January, will remain operational without any disruption.
Even the devices that were non-compliant earlier but were being used anyway, have been put into the record and can be used without any inconvenience, however the same cannot be said for the illegal smartphones after March 15, 2019.