Importing a 3D Printer in Pakistan
The Pakistani Government is trying to promote indigenous manufacturing and is an active advocate for Made in Pakistan Products, in an effort to reduce its import bills and improve the Current Account Deficit. But the policies of Government are completely opposite to what they preach.
Economies thrive when countries have innovative solutions for global and local problems.
Rather than facilitating an ecosystem of innovation, Govt Policies are shutting down innovation by adding more and more regular bodies on the Import of simple machinery like 3D Printers which at the core are fundamental tools for experimentation, research, trial and error and accelerating the growth for Product Development hence fostering Innovation.
Is the 3d Printer banned in Pakistan?
Technically one needs to Get a NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the Ministry of Interior in Islamabad to Import a Simple 3D Printer. This whole process may take somewhere around 3 to 6 months with no confirmation of the NOC being granted at the end of the day.
This is very sad to see that real change-makers and innovators are moving out of the country due to these restrictions.
3D Printer and National Security of Pakistan
This is because our naïve government believes that 3D Printers can 3D Print a GUN, which can shoot and is not detectable through a Metal Detector Walkthrough Gate and can be a serious National Security threat at sensitive locations, especially airports.
However, some experiments have been done in Printing a few parts of the Gun with a 3D Printer but not the complete gun so far which can be quoted as a successful case study to prove this assumption.
How to Import a 3D Printer in Pakistan?
Send one original and 12 photocopies of the following document by mail to the Ministry of Interior Islamabad.
You have to write to the Security Ministry of the Interior
- The company, the letterhead specifies the technical literature and technical details of the 3d printer you are importing. Also, place its complete brochure
- Attach your company profile
- You also have to submit an affidavit mentioning the use/purpose of 3d printers and that you will not use it for making any weapons
- Submit a copy of your CNIC and the NTN of the company.
Submit all these details by post to the Ministry of Interior Islamabad
After doing this then wait for a few months before the Intelligence Department verifies the details and offers you a NOC or not
In this Video, the Guy from DIY Kings, explains the hassle he has to go through for months and months to get his 3D Printer cleared from customs.
Here are some of the experiences people are sharing on Twitter.
Imagine if an institute like LUMS cannot get their NOC in 4 Months, how can we expect the struggling youth and engineer to fight this with an inefficient system which makes the whole process extremely difficult and hence making it difficult to do business in Pakistan.
The WAY OUT-What Should Be Done?
Regulator to Facilitator
1.) Our government needs a mindset shift from rather than just acting as a regulator and creating more and more regularities bodies to shifting to being a facilitator.
Once we have facilitation bodies, such people will be on a different mindset and will always have a helping attitude towards entrepreneurs which causes ease of doing business and hence fosters growth and innovation.
2.) The Ban should not be on the tools like 3D Printers but banning the digital files available online which have access to 3D Files of Guns as done in the United States.
Anyone found printing such files should be executed according to the laws just like we have GUN Laws rather than banning the Guns altogether.