GPU prices may be dropping, but graphics cards are still expensive — and some people have been trying to save money on import taxes by declaring lower values. But this obviously doesn’t sit well with governments, which is why Pakistan will now use onboard memory capacity to calculate import taxes on GPUs.
Starting in August, Pakistani customs will assess the value of graphics cards in accordance with their onboard memory capacity, no matter which graphics processors they use, and add a 36% import tax, reports INCPak (via VideoCardz). The government has issued a special Valuation Ruling that sets the value of a graphics board with 4GB of memory at $65, a card with 12GB at $328, and a card with 24GB of RAM at $540.
Import duties will now be calculated by converting a pre-set value into Pakistani Rupees and applying a 36% tax. The import duty on a GeForce RTX 3090 Ti 24GB graphics card, for example, will be $194.4 — arguably not much for one of the best graphics cards available today. Also, in a bid to better understand what people are buying, the authorities are demanding customs officers report the actual models being imported.
Pakistani Graphics Cards Valuation Ruling
|Assessed Value in USD
Considering that new graphics cards with 12GB of memory cost more than $328, and boards with 24GB of DRAM onboard cost more than $540, this Pakistani way of estimating their value is actually beneficial for the user. In fact, Pakistani gamers will probably enjoy relatively modest import duties on AMD’s upcoming Radeon RX 7000-series boards and Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 40-series boards.
The problem with this type of value assessment arises when someone buys a graphics card (e.g. one that’s older or used) at a discount. Older cards with high onboard memory capacities may end up being significantly more expensive than they are today.
One ironic thing about this new policy is that Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 Ti with 8GB of onboard memory has an MSRP that’s $70 higher than that of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 with 12GB of onboard memory. Apparently, some graphics cards will now cease to make sense in Pakistan thanks to import taxes.