ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has imposed a new restriction on the incoming international passengers to declare foreign currency of US $10,000 or above at the time of arrival at the airports.
In this connection, the FBR has issued a draft of the new Customs Declaration form for the incoming international passengers for declaration of the foreign currency of US $ 10,000 or above.
The FBR has issued an SRO1751(I)/2022 here on Tuesday to amend the Baggage Rules, 2006.
Presently, incoming passengers are required to make a foreign currency declaration, irrespective of the amount.
According to the new Customs Declaration for passengers, in case of accompanied baggage, the outbound passenger who is in possession of foreign currency exceeding US $ 5,000 or equivalent, any other prohibited or restricted item or any other item requiring declaration before Customs, shall file a declaration in the Form as set out in Appendix-C, before or on departure, electronically in the WeBOC or manually at the airport.
Similarly, the incoming passenger who is in possession of foreign currency exceeding US $ 10,000 or equivalent, any other prohibited or restricted item or any other item requiring declaration before Customs, shall file a declaration in the Form as set out in Appendix-C.
The declaration asked the passengers to declare are you carrying any of the following goods: Prohibited or restricted goods such as arms and ammunitions, narcotics, psychotropic substances or satellite phones etc; gold and precious metals, jewelry, precious or semi-precious stones; foreign currency in US $ or equivalent; for outbound passengers with amount exceeding US $ 5,000 or equivalent and incoming passengers having amount exceeding US $ 10,000 or equivalent and any other items requiring declaration before Customs.
Earlier, the FBR had clarified that the mandatory requirement for passengers coming into Pakistan and bringing currency and/or negotiable instruments was notified by the State Bank of Pakistan more than 10 years ago vide notification no FE1/2012-SB dated 16th June 2012. This requirement came into force on July 1, 2012.
Subsequently, in order to widen the scope of declaration to include gold jewelry, precious stones and other prohibited/restricted goods, Pakistan Customs also introduced a comprehensive “Customs Declaration Form for Passengers” which was notified vide SRO 689(I)/2019 dated 29th June 2019. These rules cover both incoming and outgoing passengers.
These requirements for declaration are in line with international standards and the best practices adopted by most of the countries in the world. The passengers can make the declaration either manually at the Customs counter or electronically in the Customs System. In order to increase awareness among international passengers, Pakistan Customs has been collaborating with the Civil Aviation Authority, Airlines, and Immigration Authorities to improve its outreach for both departing and arriving passengers. As a result, compliance has been steadily increasing.
The FBR has further reiterated that the currency declaration regime for all international passengers has been in the field for more than a decade, rather than being recently introduced on account of any recent FATF review requirements.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022