Complete Information About PTA Mobile Registration
The recent move by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to require all mobile phone users in that country to register their phones. It is seen as a step towards addressing and curbing a growing menace.
International travelers should register their mobile phones with the PTA if they want to use them in Pakistan. We'll share a detailed account on how you can do so that your device won't get blocked by authority! But first, let us discuss why this measure was crucial for our economy?
Why Should You Register Your Phone With The PTA?
The PTA has introduced a new device identification registration and blocking system (DIRBS) to bring all mobile phones currently used throughout Pakistan into one net. Secondly, the system will also help check whether or not any phone is being imported and used in Pakistan.
The government has planned to curb phone smuggling and boost tax revenue. Registration of mobile phones with the PTA would make it easier to block stolen phones from getting sold on the black market and prevent misuse altogether.
The PTA took a final measure in March 2020 to curb the smuggling of phones into the country. The only allowable number per year for personal use has been set at 5, and those who break these rules will face severe penalties.
Pakistan is not the only country that requires foreigners to register their phones for longer stays. Some other countries like Russia, Iran, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and many other countries have similar systems.
PTA Mobile Registration Process
While in Pakistan, you will need it registered with the PTA to use your phone. Registration can be done at airports or online through their Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS). You may also visit any of the Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) franchises if they offer this service conveniently located all around town.
International travelers are encouraged to visit the customs counter and voluntarily declare any mobile phones they have brought with them, especially if you plan on using them for more than 60 days in Pakistan.
You have to provide some basic identification details, including:
- Passport number
- CNIC or NICOP number
- Phone number (internationally mobile equipment identity number)
- Filled and signed declaration form
You should provide these details, so they will inform you that your phone meets the standards set by PTA.
A Certificate of Compliance will then be issued, and the system automatically generates a Payment Slip ID for you. You can pay your dues immediately to register your phone. If you want to avoid the hassle of registering your phone at an airport, all major cellular operators have franchises to provide this service. The PSID will last for seven days after it's generated and if payment is delayed more than one week, then online generate a new one.
International travelers should remember that they are only required to register their phones if they use a local sim card for more than 60 days. The same PTA mobile registration rule applies to overseas Pakistanis visiting Pakistan.
Registering Your Mobile Online
To register your mobile phone with the PTA, visit PTA online portal. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
- Visit the website
- Create an account by providing necessary information such as:
- CNIC number
- Phone number
- Contact number
This information will help you create an account on the PTA website. Also, create a username and password for your account.
3. Log in to the website using your desired username and password
4. You can now apply for a COC online. The PTA mobile registration form will ask you to enter the following information:
- Your phone’s IMEI number
- Contact number
- User type [Pakistani (Local/International Travelers Dual Nationality Holder) or foreign citizen]
5. PTA will contact you to acknowledge your reservation and provide a unique PSID. The amount varies depending upon make/model but should be enough to cover any expenses related to owning this device while living abroad.
6. Pay the dues or taxes using online banking, ATM, and at a branch of any major bank within seven days.\
7. The paid amount will be uploaded to your application once cleared, and you'll hear back from the PTA within 1-3 days about completing their mobile registration process successfully.
This is how to register your IMEI number online with the PTA.
Registering Your Mobile Device with PTA At Mobile Franchises
As of 20th September 2019, the PTA had authorized CMOs to do so instead. You can visit any franchise for phone registration, and they will process it on your behalf.
You can find the facility at selected customer service centers, so check them online to see which one is closest to you.
When you reach the franchise, just like at an airport. Then, pay your PTA mobile registration tax on the phone using PSID and COC within a week for confirmation from this agency via SMS.
Registering Dual Sim Phones With The PTA
The DIRBS initiative has been an incredible success for those who own dual sim phones, but it did come with some initial drawbacks. The first of these is that only one IMEI could be registered through the app at any given time, which caused problems depending on your needs because you might have wanted two different numbers associated with your device.
The PTA is extending the registration deadline for phones currently to ensure that users can register their devices with ease. However, you must make sure you have all of your IMEIs registered, as this will enable a local SIM card compatible with your phone - so don't forget.
Paying Duty/Taxes For PTA Mobile Registration
The submission of your COC form will generate a numeric code called PSID. This is sent via text message and email, along with how much tax or duty you need to pay for registration purposes.
The process of paying your import duty at the bank is now easier than ever. You can pay through online banking apps or visit a nearby NBP, MCB, and Allied Bank branch for payment.
The PTA has finally announced that as of February 2020, the automatically generated PSID will only be valid for seven days. Once you make a payment and receive an SMS from them confirming your approval, it is safe to use this device in Pakistan.
Your phone’s cost and freight values are used as the benchmark for taxes, with rates calculated in US Dollars but payable only by PKR. Here's a table that can give you an overview:
Baggage Imports – Types
Mobile Phones having C&F value (US Dollars)
Fixed-Rate (Amount in PKR)
Up to 30
Above 30 and up to 100
Above 100 and up to 200
Above 200 and up to 350
Above 350 and up to 500
Phone Blocked by the PTA
If your phone gets blocked by the PTA, do not worry. There is a way to get it unblocked. You will notify beforehand that you need to register it using a local Pakistani sim when 60 days are approaching. All Pakistanis and foreigners who get their unregistered phones blocked after these initial sixty days can visit an official website or office of PTA or FBR and request them to be unblocked immediately.
To unblock your phone, you will need to fill out a form and then pay the tax to unblock it. But only original phones will be given COCs and cloned, or copied phones will be permanently blocked.
Verifying Your Registration Using an Imei Number
The Device Verification System (DVS) is used to check whether your phone's IMEI number is registered with the PTA or not. Here is how you can do that:
Importance of an IMEI Number
An IMEI number is a unique 15-digit code that every phone has. If blocked, it will stop your phone from connecting to a cellular network, and you won't be able to make or receive calls with the phone.
The IMEI number is your cell phone's identity, and it can be used when you need to get your lost or stolen cell phone blocked. But there are some rules about blocking phones for PTA members, so make sure you read the guidelines before doing anything.
Steps to Check Your Mobile’s IMEI Number
There are a few ways to check the IMEI number on your phone:
- To find your phone’s IMEI number, dial *#06# from your mobile. There are two or more IMEI numbers on your phone if it is a dual or triple-sim device.
- To get an accurate IMEI, you need only check your phone's settings. The ‘About Phone’ information tells you everything.
- Make sure you check the box for your new phone, which has its IMEI printed on it.
Verify Your PTA IMEI Registration
There are a few ways to check the IMEI number on your phone:
- You can text 8484 and get a reply almost instantly.
- You can find your IMEI on the DIRBS official website. Type it in, and press submit to see what its status is.
- The PTA has developed an app to help you. The app is free-to-download and installs from the Play Store for Android users. iOS users will need to verify their status by texting or visiting the website.
The PTA Mobile Verification has a lot of replies that tell you what they mean. They are worth reading but first, understand their meaning.
- PTA complaint: the device has already been registered with the PTA.
- IMEI is compliant/PTA non-compliant/IMEI valid: they approve the phone.
- IMEI invalid: Your phone might not be original and cannot register with PTA.
- IMEI stolen: The phone you are using has been reported as stolen. You should go to the police station right away.
Beware of Scams That Use the Name of PTA
The PTA encourages all individuals to purchase their phone and SIM cards on their own CNICs. If you receive threatening or fraudulent calls regarding this issue, please file a complaint with the appropriate authorities through your local police station.
If you receive unwanted calls or messages on your phone, don't be afraid to take action. You can complain about them by operators of cellular networks at 051-922532931 ext 155 for written complaints to ensure that appropriate measures are taken.
Contact Information about PTA
The PTA has launched a dedicated Consumer Support Center (CSC) to help people register their complaints. They can do so by calling 0800-55055, between 9 am and 9 pm on weekdays.
If you have any questions or concerns about telecom service, contact the PTA. They will be able to help with all of them.
Buying a New Phone In Pakistan
If you want to avoid paying hefty import duty on your phone, make sure it's a PTA-approved device from an authorized seller. You can easily identify smuggled phones by looking for phones sold without a box and just the bare essentials, such as chargers or hands-free devices. These are called "kits" in the market, and they are not as common now since people have tried to stop smuggling them into the country.
PTA has a few options for those who still want to buy an unpacked phone and avoid getting it blocked by PTA. In order, you can go online in case your IMEI is verified through the mobile verification process or call their helpline at 0800-55055 with any questions they may have answered.
PTA Mobile Registration Policy on Pakistan’s Economy
There are more than a million smartphones on sale in the Pakistani market every month, according to KEDA. More than 150 million mobile phones registered with PTA at around this time.
The recent increase in the number of imported phones indicates that Pakistan’s economy has greatly benefited from this measure. With more than 10 million units entering through commercial channels last year, PKR 28 billion was collected by PTA as taxes on such imports – a 110% spike over what had previously been seen.
- Is the first phone registration free of cost?
No, there is a policy where everyone needs to pay their taxes before buying a phone.
Can I change the IMEI number of my phone?
No, it is not possible and illegal to do so. It’s a popular scam by people who want to take your money in the name of “service charges.”
Can PTA block a phone using its IMEI number?
Yes, a stolen phone can have its identity traced back. This is because each phone has its own unique number called IMEI.
- How many phones can be registered by a single individual?
A maximum of five phones are registered in a year on your passport.