The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued a request to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to exempt import taxes on smartphones brought from abroad for personal use. As per law, all smartphones imported to Pakistan need to be approved by PTA within 60 days, which means paying import taxes, or else the phone won’t work in the country.
Import Taxes Wavier on Smartphones to Facilitate Foreigners and Expats
Although the authority has requested FBR to exempt import taxes on phones, it involves a critical condition, which is that it will only exempt one smartphone brought from overseas for personal use. Hence, the smartphones imported for retail purposes will still have to pay the import taxes for PTA approval. The exemption of import taxes on smartphones is aimed at facilitating overseas Pakistanis and foreigners avoid paying extra for phones they bought for personal use.
It must be noted that PTA has only requested the change and the final decision still lies in the hands of FBR and PTA. Hence, we should only have to wait for the official confirmation before the import taxes are finally exempted on the phones brought for personal use.
Brent Timm Faced a Similar Issue
A travel blogger from New York, Brent Timm, who was visiting Pakistan faced a similar issue when he was asked to pay Rs.90,000 in taxes to keep his iPhone working. He made a TikTok video asking Pakistanis to help him with this issue as he is just a tourist who is promoting a good image of Pakistan to the outside world. He said that he loved the country so much that he had applied for a visa extension but since then his phone has stopped working till he pays taxes.
@brent.timm.travelPakistan please help me♬ original sound – Brent Timm Travel