Pakistani Passport Holders Beware: No Temporary Vehicle Imports Allowed Anymore

Pakistani Passport Holders Beware: No Temporary Vehicle Imports Allowed Anymore

Pakistanis holding another country’s passport can still avail this facility.

On May 8, 2023, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) issued an SRO 533 (I)/2023, amending the definition of “tourist” under Chapter VI of the Customs Rules 2001 and incorporating new provisions in the said rules. As per the new rules, Pakistani residents living abroad are no longer eligible to temporarily import customs duty-free cars or other vehicles. This facility is now restricted to tourists who do not hold Pakistani passports, including tourists of Pakistani origin.

Brief History, Law & Latest Updates

Under Chapter VI (Temporary Importation Of Motor Vehicles) of the Customs Rules 2001, expatriate employees, importers, and tourists were allowed to temporarily import vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, and others, without paying customs duties for a period of three months, which was extendable under certain circumstances. Additionally, the imported vehicle was not allowed for sale in Pakistan. However, according to the FBR, this time limit was being misused, as the law provided a lot of reasons for extending the period. The main rules governing this matter are Rules 76 and 77, which can be read here.

The previous rules did not distinguish between tourists holding Pakistani passports and those holding foreign passports, including tourists of Pakistani origin. However, under the amended rules, only tourists holding foreign passports can temporarily import a vehicle without paying customs duties. The details of the Carnet de Passage will be recorded in Pakistan Customs Computerized System and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Those who exceed the allowed time limit will be fined, and in some cases, their vehicles may be seized. It should be noted that vehicle seizures are not a new measure, as Rule 85 empowers Customs authorities to seize a vehicle under specific circumstances.

What is your opinion on this matter? Do you think the new rules could be seen as discriminatory against Pakistanis living in their own country? Is this a fair policy?

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