Overseas Pakistanis can now export cars home

Overseas Pakistanis can now export cars home

The government of Pakistan has permitted imports of three-year-old cars. This will benefit overseas Pakistanis who wish to send cars under personal baggage, transfer of residence and gift schemes. Eight thousand cars have been given the go-ahead to be released from ports.

Thousands of Pakistanis working abroad, especially those from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as car dealers there and in Pakistan were demanding the restoration of these concessions since October 2017 when the previous rules and procedures were withdrawn.

This decision will make overseas Pakistanis happy because most of them wish to bring a car upon returning from the host country, or want to send a car as a gift to their family. Thousands of Pakistanis who imported such cars under the government's previous policies drive these vehicles across the country.

Under this plan, 8,000 new and used cars imported before January 9, 2018, will benefit. These cars were stuck at Pakistani ports but will now be cleared by the Pakistan Customs Department.


While stopping the imports, the Pakistan government said the cars were brought in without providing details of the importers' foreign banks and other information from those who were exporting the cars.

The matter was discussed jointly by the Federal Bureau of Revenue, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Commerce. It led to the previous procedures being reinstated.


At stake were the fate of around 76,635 automobiles which were imported before October 20, 2017. These included 65,723 cars, up from 38,667 a year ago, according to the importers. The import of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) rose 59 per cent to 7,758 units and vans were up 9 per cent to 3,154 in the same period.

"We are always ready to help overseas Pakistanis who are sending home cash, cars or other things. We have sorted out the question of clearing these cars in the spirit of helping overseas Pakistani workers and their families back home. We will allow them to import up to three-year-old cars," a government spokesman told Khaleej Times.

The government had earlier laid down a mechanism for payment of custom duty and taxes on imported cars and vehicles under personal baggage, transfer of residence and gift schemes. The Customs authorities have been advised to collect duty and taxes in foreign exchange arranged by the Pakistani nationals or the local recipient of cars, supported by bank encashment certificate, showing conversion of the local currency.

Miftah Ismail, the Prime Minister's Advisor on Finance, said: "The Economic Committee of the Cabinet [ECC] has approved the previous procedure applicable before October 2017. Imported used cars will be released like in the past."

The ECC on October 6, 2017, had decided that "all vehicles in new condition be imported under transfer of residence, personal baggage or under gift, the custom and taxes will be paid out of the foreign exchange arranged by the Pakistani nationals themselves, or the local recipient, supported by bank encashment certificate, showing conversion of foreign remittance to local currency."

This decision was notified by the Ministry of Commerce on October 20. It provides protection to shipments in the pipeline against any abrupt policy changes.

Ismail had suggested that the notification be effective from February 28, 2018. This proposal has been accepted by the ECC.
Stressing the need to continue policies that benefit overseas Pakistanis, a spokesman of the Ministry of Finance said overseas Pakistanis are doing a great job by helping build various sectors of foreign countries, particularly the UAE, and other GCC countries. "Their contribution to the economy, through home remittances, amounted to over $19 billion in 2016-17, while they had started with $2.34 billion in 2001-02."

The writer is based in Islamabad. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

tag: international-news , business

Source: khaleejtimes


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