Outbound passengers to declare currency above $5,000

Outbound passengers to declare currency above $5,000

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Wednesday issued draft rules to make it mandatory for outbound passengers to make declaration of currency amounting above $5,000.

The FBR issued draft amendment to Baggage Rules, 2006 by issuing SRO 1751(I)/2022 dated September 20, 2022.

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The revenue body said that the draft rules had been published for information of all persons likely to be affected and notice is also given that objections or suggestions may for consideration of the board should be sent within seven days of the draft amendments.

According to the amendment, in case of accompanied baggage, the outbound passenger who is in possession of foreign currency exceeding $5,000 of equivalent, any other prohibited or restricted item or any other item requiring declaration before Customs, shall file a declaration before or on departure, electronically in the WeBOC or manually.

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Similarly, the incoming passenger who is in possession of foreign currency exceeding $10,000 or equivalent, any other prohibited or restricted item or any other item requiring declaration before customs shall file a declaration.

Earlier, on September 11, 2022, the FBR issued a clarification stating that a misleading impression has been created in some section of the press that Pakistan has recently imposed currency declaration requirements for passengers coming into Pakistan, which is contrary to facts. Unlike portrayed by some section of the press, 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. F.E.1/2012-SB dated 16th June 2012. This requirement came into force on July 01,2012.

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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 the 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 amongst the 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, the compliance has been steadily increasing.

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FBR has further reiterated that the currency declaration regime for all international passengers has been in field for more than a decade, rather than being recently introduced on account of any recent FATF review requirements.