Commerce ministry relaxes restriction on import of used cars

Zarmeen Zehra
A representational image showing a large number of parked cars. — AFP/File
A representational image showing a large number of parked cars. — AFP/File
  • Ministry of Commerce amends Import Policy 2022.
  • Govt allows import of cars with up to 2,000 km mileage.
  • Earlier, only cars with 500 km on them could be imported.

RAWALPINDI: The Ministry of Commerce Thursday amended the Import Policy 2022 to ease the restriction imposed on the import of used and unregistered cars.

As per the details, the government has allowed the import of used cars with a mileage of 2,000 kilometres as opposed to the previous policy which only allowed the import of cars with up to 500 kilometres on them.

Under the amended import policy, cars with a mileage of up to 2,000 kilometres will be considered "new", the ministry's notification read.

It is pertinent to know that imports have a significant impact on the country's economy as the payments are mostly made in dollars which in turn affects the country's forex reserves.

Previous governments, including the caretaker setup as well as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition government had, in fact, imposed severe curbs on the import of cars in their bid to preserve the depleting forex reserves.

Earlier this year in February, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) eased the regulations for advance payments of imports allowing the authorised dealers to make full payments in advance without prior approval.

Previously, The News, citing the data issued by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), reported a 30% increase in car sales for the month of January compared to the same period in 2023.

As per the PAMA, as many as 7,802 passenger cars were sold in January this year as opposed to 6,021 units last year.

However, car sales were still down 49% in the first seven months of the fiscal year with 38,464 units being sold compared to 74,933 during the same period in FY23.

Speaking to PAMA spokesperson Abdul Waheed Khan said that the move is simply aimed at catering cars which are brand new but were previously didn’t fell within the permissible import bracket as they exceeded the mileage limit simply for having a few kilometres on them owing to transportation and logistical reasons.

The government’s amendment to the import policy is unlikely to result in any major shift in the local automobile industry.