Islamabad: Pakistan has made currency declaration mandatory for all international passengers travelling via incoming and outgoing flights, according to Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA).
The directive applies to all nationals and on domestic and foreign currencies as well as gold jewellery, precious stones and restricted goods such as satellite phones and weapons. The declaration form must be filled out before boarding the flight at the customs counter. No international passenger would be able to board the flight or leave the airport without submitting the declaration form, as per the directive.
Pakistani officials say that the new regulation is part of the measures being taken to curb money laundering and meet the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) condition to get off the watchdog’s grey list. The global illicit financing watchdog FATF will decide the country’s ’grey list’ status after an on-site visit.
The PCAA said it would provide full support to Pakistan Customs and airlines for implementing the FATF code of conduct, the CAA spokesman said. Pakistan Customs has been directed to depute its staff at all international airports to facilitate inbound and outbound passengers of all international flights. Domestic and foreign airlines and their staff have been informed about the new mandatory declaration forms.
The notification has been issued on the instructions of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
In February, FBR launched an automated currency declaration system to digitally monitor foreign currency movement at arrivals and departures during the Imran Khan administration that focused on achieving transparency through digital initiatives.
This digital system was developed with the assistance of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and FIA to be deployed at all international airports and replace the manual currency declarations acquired randomly from the passengers. However, it is unclear at the moment if the digital system will be discontinued or work in parallel.