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Import regulations and customs duties  - Distribution - Transportation of goods - Standards - Patents and brands

Import regulations and customs duties

In general, the export of goods from Pakistan is allowed. However, export of certain goods is sometimes prohibited in order to avoid stock shortages or to allow availability of certain products on the domestic market. Other products, on the other hand, are totally banned from export : fire arms, leathers and skins, wood for art work, milk and dairy products and antiques. Shipment of unaccompanied luggage - except carpets - is possible under authorisation of the government.
Every private importing company has to get registered as an importer with the government of Pakistan at the Export Promotion Bureau and also has to register its imports. Any import of Israelite origin or coming from Israel is prohibited in Pakistan. Imports from India are under special regulation, only the products listed on the Ministry of Commerce's list can be imported. Pakistan prohibits the import of certain products for religious and security reasons and some capitals and consumer goods are forbidden, to protect the national production.


Customs duties
The Customs duty in Pakistan is based on the International Harmonised System. Customs duties are calculated on an ad valorem basis on the CIF value of the goods and vary from 10 et 65%. Motor cars are taxed between 105% to 265% depending on cylindrage.




The distribution sector lacks organisation and is very fragmented. There are distributors networks organised by area, and this, for equipment goods. Distribution centres are Lahore, Islamabad, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi and Peshawar. Supermarkets are emerging.


Transportation of goods

By road
The road transport network is relatively outdated. The government henceforth is looking forward to modernise the infrastructures of road transport, at least the main axes of roads and highways. It is relatively easy to go by vehicle from one agglomeration to the next.

By rail
The railway network of this country extends over 12,634 km. Most of the installations date from colonial time and are therefore relatively outdated. The electrified railway network is not much developed : traffic is therefore little developed due to a lack of modernity inside this network.

By sea
The most important port in Pakistan is Karachi, administered by Karachi Port Trust (KPT). Its space is presently used in an optimum manner but it is very difficult to extend this port area. Then comes the Port of Qasima, which has for some time now got reshaped to lighten Karachi Port's traffic. Yet another port is Gwadar, also shaped to lighten Karachi and allow a linkage between Central Asian countries and the Arabian Sea via Pakistan and Afghanistan.

By air
So far as air transport is concerned, only foreign air transport companies which have signed an agreement with Pakistan are authorised to work with or in Pakistan. The Pakistani airports belong to the public sector. The airports of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad have considerable international activity.


The Pakistani Standards Institution (PSI) is the institution for Pakistani standards. The activity of this institution brings together preparation and creation of standards, integration of standards inspection systems, collaboration with international organisations and propagation of information concerning standardisation and quality control. This institution has created until now 3,500 Pakistani standards in the sectors of agriculture, food-processing, chemical products, civil and mechanical engineering, electronics, weights and measures and textile. However, only 41 items for the domestic market and 33 for export market have respected a compulsory certification programme. The Pakistani companies have begun to adopt the ISO 9000 standard.
As for products packing, it is advised to specify the indications of origin on the package as "made in". Cotton or woollen products must carry the following indications : name of manufacturer, name of exporter or wholesaler. The length has to be indicated in yards. For chemical products, the position of specific labels are laid down and the expiry date has to be indicated. As for food products, one must indicate the dates of production and consumption. In fact, Pakistan does not impose any uniform or universal system for labelling of products.

Patents and brands

Pakistan is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, of the universal Convention on copyright of authors, Berne Convention. However, Pakistan is not a member of the Paris Convention protecting the rights of industrial property. The patents law in Pakistan provides a protection for processes but not for pharmaceutical and agrochemical products. The violation of industrial property rights is always on the agenda. The implementation of the laws relating to industrial property in this country is inefficient and the sanctions imposed for any infraction of law is really very poor.

Texts currently applying to patents/brands

  Text Date entered into law Period of validity Comment
Patent Patents Ordinance No. LXI December 2, 2000 : :
Trademark Trade Marks Ordinance 2001 : :
Design Designs Ordinance No. XLV September 7, 2000 : :


Last modified in 2006 - ongoing update
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