Pakistan Customs Increases Taxes on Import of Used Computers and Laptops

Pakistan Customs Increases Taxes on Import of Used Computers and Laptops

Public Directorate of Customs Assessment Karachi has set a much higher customs value for old and used computer systems, laptops, printers, and their accessories, essentially banning commercial importers of such products by computer industry importers and vendors.

A valuation ruling for the computer industry was provided by the Directorate Valuation Karachi. For the purpose of calculating duties and taxes, the minimum customs values for old and used computers/laptops, printers have been set for all sources.

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The new action would not only stress importers with high prices, but it would also make it impossible for students and other general buyers for official work from home to find low-cost computers, according to the computer industry.

The technology industry has responded angrily to the directorate’s valuation ruling that imposing high taxes on used computer imports would not only halt the smooth operation of the computing industry, but would also slow down school-home education by depriving students and buyers of official work-from-home opportunities and resulting in revenue loss to the government.

After conducting a thorough study of Pakistan’s imports for the year 2019-20, the FBR tasked the directorate with identifying the items/goods where differences in exporting country values versus import values in Pakistan were observed, according to ruling number 1519 of 2021 issued by the directorate.

The Customs Collectors may ensure that the values set forth in this valuation ruling for the given definition of goods are consistently applied by the concerned personnel, according to the directorate.

As a result, an exercise was launched under section 25-A of the Customs Act, 1969 to establish the customs values of old and used computer systems, laptops, printers, and their accessories from all sources. In the directorate, meetings with all stakeholders, trade groups, and members of clearance collectorates were held. Importers/stakeholders were asked to submit proposals along with all relevant documents.

As a result, a special team within the directorate was created to classify the subject products as being vulnerable to under-invoicing due to significant differences in declarations.

Following the long-held closure of educational institutions and a process of home learning through online study and official work-from-home initiated by the government, the use of computers has increased dramatically in the country.

The meeting, which was attended by Munawar Iqbal, former senior vice chairman of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a former executive member of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), expressed deep concern about the valuation department’s imposition of a 40 percent increase on the import of used computers without consulting the IT importers.

The meeting also calls on Pakistan’s higher authorities, including the Prime Minister, to intervene immediately in the matter and revoke the Valuation Ruling on used devices, in order to promote both online educational learning and the smooth operation of IT businesses for stakeholders.

An emergency meeting of various computer traders was held on Tuesday to address the situation arising from the government’s high increase in the value of used computers in the country.

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