Now Reading: Tourists Allowed For 6 Months to Import Vehicles Without Duties by FBR
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has modified the meaning of “tourist” to encourage visitors to temporarily import vehicles without paying duty and taxes for a six-month term. In a notice released here on Friday, the FBR suggested changes to the Customs Rules 2001.
According to SRO.201(I)/2021, a “tourist” is a person who is not ordinarily resident in Pakistan and enters the country for a term of not more than six months in any twelve-month period for lawful non-immigrant purposes.
Previously, tourists were described as foreigners from any of the following categories who have no residence or occupation in Pakistan and whose stay in the country is unlikely to exceed three months, according to customs laws:
- A person who is visiting Pakistan for the purpose of leisure or sight-seeing, or who is passing through on a short trip;
- An individual who is travelling domestically or for health reasons;
- A individual who is on a research or lecture tour, or who is making a pilgrimage;
- A person travelling in his or her individual or representative capacity to attend a science, administrative, educational, social, cultural, sporting, or religious meeting or event, or to give a performance;
- An individual who is travelling for business;
- A individual who arrives in Pakistan as part of a cruise and stays for more than 24 hours.
According to the procedure, a tourist who imports a vehicle against a carnet-de-passage or a bank guarantee may be given delivery of the vehicle by the officer-in-charge of the Customs-station of entry without paying customs duties for its retention in Pakistan if the tourist makes a declaration at the Customs-station of entry to the effect that he will not constructively or substantially transfer the ownership of the vehicle.
Provided, however, that if the visitor is unable to export the vehicle during the said time and makes an application to the FBR to do so until the period expires, the Board can prolong the duration by a maximum of three months.
Furthermore, if the same vehicle re-enters Pakistan within one year of its exit, whether in the name of the same tourist (non-Pakistani) or in the name of anyone else (non-Pakistani), temporary release against carnet-de-passage or a bank guarantee for more than fourteen days shall not be allowed, except for vehicles operated by recognized foreign tour agencies, which shall be allowed re-entry.
If the export of such a vehicle is not practicable due to the importer’s health, circumstances outside his control, or an accident involving the vehicle, the FBR may extend the term by up to six months, in which case a new bank guarantee must be provided if the current bank guarantee does not cover the duration of extension.
Provided that the importer wants to keep the vehicle longer than the time during which approval for possession has been granted, he must procure an import permit from the Ministry of Commerce and pay the applicable Customs duty and taxes on the date of import.
If a tourist imports a vehicle for passage through Pakistan to a foreign destination, in the absence of a carnet-de-passage or a bank guarantee, the officer-in-charge of the Customs-station of entry may allow the vehicle to pass through Pakistan without paying customs duties under escort from the Customs-station of entry to the Customs-station of exit on payment of escort charges to be determined.
The details of the vehicle that is allowed to pass through Pakistan must be endorsed on the importer’s i.e. the tourists’ passport.