A new rule implemented by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) requires incoming international travellers to disclose foreign cash worth $10,000 or more when they arrive at the airports.

In this regard, the FBR has released the draught of a new “Customs Declaration form” for the declaration of foreign cash valued at $10,000 or more by incoming overseas travellers.

On Tuesday, the FBR published an SRO.1751(I)/2022 to modify the Baggage Rules, 2006.

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The outbound passenger who owns foreign currency exceeding $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 before or on departure electronically in the WeBOC or manually at the airport, as per the new customs declaration for passengers.

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The inbound passenger must also fill out the form with a declaration if they have any foreign cash worth more than $10,000 or its equivalent, any other items that are prohibited or restricted, or any other items that need to be declared to customs.

The passenger will mention in the declaration form if they are carrying any of the following items: prohibited or restricted items such as weapons and ammunition, narcotics, psychoactive substances, or satellite phones; gold and precious metals; jewellery made of precious or semi-precious stones; foreign currency in US Dollars (USD) or equivalent; and outbound passengers carrying an amount exceeding $5,000 or equivalent; and incoming passengers carrying an amount more than $10,000.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced the need for travellers entering Pakistan who are bringing cash and/or negotiable instruments more than ten years ago via notice number. F.E.1/2012-SB dated June 16, 2012. The FBR already explained this. This requirement became effective on July 1st, 2012.

Then, Pakistan Customs launched a thorough “Customs Declaration Form for Passengers,” which was announced by SRO 689(I)/2019 dated June 29, 2019, to expand the scope of declaration to include gold jewellery, precious stones, and other prohibited/restricted products. These guidelines apply to both departing and arriving travellers.

These declaration requirements are in line with global best practices and standards that the majority of nations have embraced.

The declaration can be made physically at the Customs desk or electronically using the Customs system. Pakistan Customs has been working with the Civil Aviation Authority, Airlines, and Immigration Authorities to strengthen its outreach to both departing and arriving passengers in order to raise awareness among foreign travellers. Because of this, compliance has been gradually rising.

The currency declaration procedure for all foreign passengers has been in place for more than ten years, according to FBR, and was not recently implemented as a result of any new FATF review criteria.