FITA helps you find
service providers for:

flag Pakistan Pakistan: Selling and Buying

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier


Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Main International Economic Cooperation
Pakistan does not belong to any Customs Union.

It is a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Pakistan has signed Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with nearly 40 countries. It has also signed ‘Double Taxation Agreements’ with nearly 50 countries.

The country has signed a trade agreement with 21 other countries in the São Paulo Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).

For more details, visit:

Pakistani Government

Pakistani state

Federal Board of Revenue

Non Tariff Barriers
According to the Trade Policy-2006 of Pakistan, the import of 30 items is banned into the country. This ban is based on religious, environmental, security, and health issues.

Moreover the government reserves the power to grant sector-specific duty exemptions, concessions, and protections under Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs), though the use of SROs has decreased during recent years.

For more details, visit:

Central Board of Revenue

List of banned imports

Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Customs duties in Pakistan are levied on ad-valorem basis. The maximum customs duty is 25%. In addition to the customs duty, the government charges 15% sales tax on the duty paid value of a variety of goods imported into the country. Customs duty and other charges are payable in rupees. For more details, visit: Pakistan Customs

The WTO gives a sheet summarizing the Customs tariffs of the country

Customs Classification
The Customs duty in Pakistan is based on the International Harmonized System.
Import Procedures

The following documents are required for imports:
  1. Bill of lading;
  2. Invoices;
  3. Packing list;
  4. Certificate of origin;
  5. Copies (generally 3 ) of letters of credit; and
  6. Insurance certificates.
For more details on import procedures, visit:
Importing Samples

Government of Pakistan allows duty-free import of samples (not for commercial use) provided a bank guarantee or indemnity bond is provided to Customs to ensure that the items will be returned.

The same is applicable to the re-export of goods; but with a minimum value-addition of 2.5% over their FOB price.

For Further Information
Pakistan Customs
SAARC Trade Portal
Asia Trade Hub

Learn more about Traders, Agents in Pakistan on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

Return to top

Reaching the Consumers

Marketing Opportunities

Consumer Behavior

The Pakistani consumer is very price sensitive and consumption levels of households generally come down with rise in prices. Although some Pakistani consumers are aware of quality differences and insist on world-class products, majority of the customers can sacrifice quality concerns for price reductions.

The quality of after-sales service plays an important role while making a purchase decision. To retain customer loyalty, companies are increasingly focusing on after-sales service.

In case of durable and non-consumer items, many consumers prefer to have a complete turnkey package which includes installation, operational training, and onsite guarantee.

Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power

Pakistani consumers are now becoming more and more brand conscious. This trend is generating demand for some products that were previously unfamiliar, particularly in sectors like apparel and household consumer durable items.

Moreover, improvement in country’s economy has resulted into an increase in purchasing power and an expansion of the middle class.

However one should know that there is a small section of the country population (less than 5%) which belongs to elite section of the society; consisting mainly of landlords, politicians, and government officials. They are the biggest consumers of luxury goods imported into the country.

Consumers Associations
Consumer Association of Pakistan
Main Advertising Agencies
For list of advertising agencies in Pakistan, visit: Pakistan Advertising Association (PAA)

Return to top

Distributing a Product

Market Shares

There is not yet any  chain of stores in Pakistan, though the situation may change soon. Quite recently the concept of garment chain stores was introduced, whereby many such chains have started selling locally manufactured garments mainly in the large cities like Karachi and Lahore.

The segment of wholesale distribution is quite well-developed in Pakistan. It consists of around 1,000 - 1,500 wholesalers. Karachi is the main hub for wholesale distribution of goods.

Moreover there are a dozen shopping malls in the country, mainly located in Karachi and Lahore.

Return to top

Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
By rail: Pakistan Railways provides an important mode of transportation to the farthest corners of the country, catering to the large-scale movement of both freight and people. The railway network in Pakistan extends over 12,634 km.

By Road: The road transport network in Pakistan is relatively outdated (built before 1947 during the British Raj), although new motorways are now being constructed. However it is relatively easy to transport goods by road from one place to another within the country.

By sea: The port of Karachi is the most important and the busiest port in the country. It is administered by Karachi Port Trust (KPT). Other ports include ports of Qasima and that of Gwadar. The Pakistani ports have a strategic location in connecting Central Asian countries and the Gulf countries.

By air: Only those foreign air transport companies which have signed an agreement with Pakistani authorities are authorized 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 Port of Karachi
Port Mohammad Bin Qasim
Port of Gwadar
International Airport of Karachi
International Airport of Islamabad
International Airport of Lahore
International Airport of Quetta
International Airport of Peshawar
International Airport of Multan
International Airport of Faisalabad
International Airport of Gwadar
Sea Transport Organizations
Ministry of Ports and Shipping
Air Transport Organizations
Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority
Road Transport Organizations
National Highway Authority of Pakistan
Rail Transport Organizations
Pakistan Railways

Return to top

Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
The industrial sector contributes nearly 25% to the GDP. The major industries are textile production (the biggest earner of foreign exchange), oil refining, metal processing, and cement & fertilizer production.

The automotive industry is one of the emerging industries in Pakistan. There are around 20 automobile/motorcycle manufacturing units in assembling operations.

Further to the privatization of the cement plants, and the recent boom in the construction industry, cement manufacturing is performing very well.

The pharmaceutical sector with a large presence of the main international corporations is a major player now in the country.

The leather goods industry and, to a limited extent, the metal surgical instruments sector, mostly based in Sialkot, are impressive exporters.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories - Pakistan - Directory of companies in Pakistan.
B2B Pakistan - Pakistan's business directory.
Jamals - Pakistan's business directory.
Pakistan yellow pages - Find a business in Pakistan.
Phone Book Online - Pakistan's Yellow Pages.
Manufacturers Associations of the Main Industries
6 professional associations listed for Pakistan.
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Pakistan Federation of Chamber of Commerce
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Sarhad Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Enterprises Federation
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority

Learn more about Service Providers in Pakistan on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

Return to top

Any Comments About This Content? Report It to Us.


Learn more about Sales in Pakistan on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

© Export Entreprises SA, All Rights Reserved.
Last Updates: October 2014