Tariffs and regulations

Tariffs and duty rates are constantly revised and are subject to change without notice.

Austrade strongly recommends you reconfirm these prior to selling to Pakistan.

For further information, please visit the Pakistani Federal Board of Revenue website.

Tariffs and non-tariff barriers

Tariffs

The Government of Pakistan is implementing a program of tariff reduction in line with obligations that are part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) entry. The general tariff rate is expected to drop to around 30 per cent. Tariffs can be significant for Australian exporters.

Non-tariff barriers

Items banned for import to Pakistan include:

  • items that may be repugnant to the injunctions of Islam
  • dyes based on benzidine or containing it
  • hazardous wastes, as defined and classified in the Basle Convention
  • alcoholic beverages and spirits, including brewing and distilling dregs and waste and wine lees and argol
  • factory rejects and goods of job lot, stock lot or substandard quality job lot and stock lot of items where the customs duty is zero per cent
  • fireworks, fur skins, waste and scrap of polyethylene and polypropylene plastics, rethreaded tyres, used pneumatic tyres
  • Imports from India have restrictions and only those items can be imported that are specified under the Import Trade and Procedures Order (Appendix B).

Certain restricted items can be imported only if the stipulated conditions are met. Most of the restricted items need prior approval or certification from the relevant government agency. Some of the main items include:

  • animal semen
  • tobacco products
  • radioactive material and apparatus
  • seeds
  • calcium carbide
  • asbestos
  • food colours
  • dyes
  • explosives
  • insecticides.

Wheat is now importable by the private and public sector. The government has recently imposed a duty of 20 per cent on the import of wheat to discourage wheat import and protect local produce.

Product certification, labelling and packaging

Labelling and marking

Packaging should be conspicuously marked with the country of origin and the name of either the manufacturer or the importer. For textiles this is especially important and the yardage, width and length (if in roll) should also be clearly marked.

Dyes and chemicals must be marked with a full description, including quality and code numbers.

Packets of cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes should carry the warning: 'Smoking is injurious to health'.

Food colours must carry fair and true labelling about the product.

Labels on packages for edible products should show that they have at least six months or 50 per cent of the shelf life, whichever is the lesser, calculated from the date of filing of import general manifest (IGM) and also that they are free of haram elements or ingredients. Where these conditions are not printed on the packaging, certificate issued by the manufacturers or principals in respect of these conditions shall be accepted by customs.

Special certificates

Livestock must be accompanied by a sanitary certificate issued by the approved authority in the country of origin. In Australia this is usually the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, the Department of Agriculture, or the relevant state department of agriculture.

All plants and plant products, except fruit and vegetables, require a phytosanitary certificate issued by the approved authority in the country of origin.

Hay or straw used as packing material for plants or seeds must be covered by the phytopathological certificate issued by the approved authority in the country or origin.

Leaf tobacco must be covered by additional certification indicating that it is free from ephestiam elutella or that this pest does not exist in the country of origin.

Used clothing should be accompanied by a certificate of cleanliness signed by a physician with the letters MD following the signature.

A special certificate of alcoholic strength may be required for imports of spirituous beverages.

A supplier's certificate or quality and price are required for certain items.

Methods of quoting and payment

Quotes should be cost and freight (CIF) port of delivery in Australian dollars or US dollars. Payment must be made by irrevocable letter of credit.

Documentary requirements

Fax signatures are not permitted.

Commercial invoice

No prescribed form. Three copies are required.

Invoice must be signed by the manufacturer or shipper and must show:

  • names of consignee
  • vessel carrying the goods
  • number and description of packages
  • serial numbers or other identification
  • value of goods CIF (freight charges to be shown separately)
  • country of origin.

Except where it is not possible to do so (bulk items or where products are marketed under generic names) the invoice should give the brand name of the product being imported.

A signed declaration of origin is required.

Bill of lading/airway bill

To order bills are acceptable and must show:

  • gross weights and dimensions in metric units
  • name and address of the party to be notified.

Packing list

Not obligatory, but facilitates clearance.

Certificate of origin

Although not legally required, the importer or their bank frequently requests this document. If not provided, a statement of origin should appear on the invoice.

Public health requirements

The import of livestock, plants and plant material is subject to specific regulations.

New pharmaceutical preparations not previously imported require the prior approval of the Pakistani Director-General of Health. For this approval, the director-general requires, free of cost, a supply of the preparation to treat about 60 patients. Pharmaceutical industries holding valid licenses are permitted to import pharmaceutical raw material subject to the condition that pharmaceutical (allopathic) raw materials are of pharmaceutical grade and have at least 75 per cent of the shelf life calculated from the date of filing of IGM. Pharmaceutical raw materials specifically allowed by the director-general are exempt from the above requirements. Import of pharmaceutical products is subject to the conditions and limitations laid down in the Drugs Act 1976.

Calcium carbide, whether or not chemically defined, requires prior approval of the Department of Explosives. Used or refurbished cylinders (for compressed or liquefied gas) for use in motor vehicles need a safety certificate from the Department of Explosives.

Arms and ammunition not otherwise banned would require authorisation from the Ministry of Commerce.

Ingredients for formulation or manufacturing of pesticides are importable only by industrial users.

Insurance

The importer must arrange insurance through an insurance company registered in Pakistan.

Weights and measures

Pakistan uses the metric system.

Regulation

  1. In Pakistan, food import is regulated by the Federal Government of Pakistan and food standards are regulated by the provincial governments.
  2. Food standards are maintained in light of Pakistan Pure Food Laws (PFL) of 1963 and administered by the provincial health departments as well.
  3. In general, Pakistan’s federal food import regulations are based on the premise that if a product is sold in the country of origin, Pakistani standards are met as well.
  4. The Federal Government of Pakistan generally applies Codex standards and guidelines in its regulation of imported food products. U.S Food and Drug administration standards also are used for certain products.
  5. A list of permissible food colours is updated every year. For animal products, Halal certification (slaughtered in accordance with Islamic Laws) is required.
  6. The Customs Department and Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) are two main agencies involved in the regulating food imports.
  7. The Custom Department’s primary function is to ensure imported food meet Pakistan’s labelling and shelf life requirements, and are not on the list of banned items and are assessed the appropriate import tariff. The import of beverages containing alcohol is banned.
  8. PPQ’s function is to ensure that bulk commodities and live animal shipment meet phytosanitary requirements.

Trademarks / Brand names

Are protected under domestic laws and are registered through the IPO. Pakistan is committed to WTO agreements and is moving to comply with WTO agreements on intellectual property rights, trademarks and patent rights. Pakistan has also enacted laws and is in the process of formulating the subordinate legislation to enforce these laws.

Links

Central Board of Revenue 
Economic Survey of Pakistan
Ministry of Commerce Pakistan
Ministry of Finance Pakistan
Pakistan agriculture research Council
Pakistan customs department
Pakistan Institute of Development Economics
Punjab Pure food ordinance
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan