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Money and duty free for Pakistan

Currency and Money

Currency information

Pakistan Rupee (PKR; symbol Rs). Notes are in denominations of Rs5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of Rs5, 2 and 1.

Credit cards

American Express is the most widely accepted card. MasterCard and Visa are also good, but Diners Club and other cards have more limited use. In general, unless you are travelling at the top end the entire time, cash is far more useful – only high-end hotels, airline offices, upmarket shops and restaurants will accept credit cards. In the mountains and in the countryside it is best to carry cash in rupees, and do not assume that money changing facilities will be available.

ATM

There are ATMs in all major cities.

Travellers cheques

Generally accepted at most banks, 4- and 5-star hotels and major shops, though the exchange can often be problematic. US cheques are the most widely accepted.

Banking hours

Mon-Sat 0900-1330, Fri 0900-1230.

Currency restrictions

US dollars remain the most widely accepted foreign currency. Make sure your notes are clean and without tears. When you exchange money keep hold of the official currency exchange receipts that you will be given - this way you have a better chance of exchanging back any unspent currency. Avoid accepting any torn or dirty notes as these are more difficult to spend. You will need to present your passport every time you exchange money. British pounds and the Euro will also be exchanged in banks in the big cities - again keep all receipts.

If you are in difficulty it is possible to do fast international money transfers with Western Union (www.westernunion.com). You will find the necessary counters in major cities, look for the distinctive yellow and black lettering. To keep your money safe in busy areas such as markets or bus stations it is a good idea to conceal your cash under your clothes with a money belt. Petty crime is rare, and rarer still outside of the big cities, but for peace of mind this can be a wise idea.

Pakistan duty free

Overview

The following items may be imported into Pakistan by tourists over the age of 18 without incurring customs duty:

• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500g of tobacco.
• Other goods to the value of US$100.

Banned Imports

Alcoholic drinks, animal feed from BSE-infected countries, anti-Islamic goods, counterfeit or pirated goods, fireworks, Koran translations without accompanying Arabic text, indecent and obscene material, items that infringe intellectual property rights, weapons, and firearms and ammunition.

Banned Exports

Antiques, items that infringe intellectual property rights, certain chemicals, counterfeit and pirated goods, endangered species, indecent and obscene material, intoxicating liquors, and narcotics.

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