Frequently Asked Questions
 
Here you will find the most frequently asked questions relating to the Sri Lanka Trade Information Portal (SLTIP) and its Content. If you do not find an answer to your question below, please let us know by clicking on Contact us and completing the form provided.

 

Q. Can I obtain information on market background, business partnerships and list of import-export companies in Sri Lanka on SLTIP?

SLTIP provides information regarding tariff, laws, regulations, and procedures for import, export and transit in Sri Lanka.If you would like to have information about potential business partnerships, list of export-export companies or business opportunities, we recommend that you contact  Ceylon Chamber of commerce or Ministry of Development strategy and international trade or Ministry of Industry and Commerce.  On their websites you will find information about business opportunities in Sri Lanka  and contact details.

Q. Can I look up the Sri Lanka Customs Tariff on-line?

Yes.  The complete commodity classification and tariffs applicable in Sri Lanka are loaded on SLTIP.  

Please click here to search and view the tariffs.

Q. What is an HS Code and how can I find the HS Code for my commodity?

In international trade each product is assigned a particular classification code using the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System or simply Harmonized System (HS). The HS is the universal economic language and code for goods, authored by the World Customs Organization (WCO). 

You can search by Commodity Code on SLTIP by clicking on “Commodity and Tariff” on the Menu Bar on the right hand side of most pages of SLTIP to find the applicable HS Code for your goods.

Please click here to know more about HS codes.

Q. What is Customs duty?

Customs Duty is the charge levied on imports and listed in the tariff schedules. Duties may be specific or ad valorem or a combination of the two (ad valorem with a specific minimum, or the greater of the two).

Customs Duty is charged under the Customs Ordinance, the Law on Import and Export Tax and other government decrees. Customs authorities collect taxes on imported and exported goods, and apply measures to ensure the correct and full collection of taxes and other amounts payable in accordance with the laws on taxes, charges and fees and other corresponding regulations of law.

Q. Can you advise the duty rate to import or export goods into or from Sri Lanka?

The duty rates can be found by searching the commodities list for the particular goods you are to import and export.

Please click here to perform this search.

Q. What are the different Customs Duties?

Please click here to see various Customs duties applicable in Sri Lanka.

Q. Do I always need to get an import/export license before importing/exporting goods in Sri Lanka?

No. An import or export license is not compulsory for many commodities. However, there are specific types of goods that require an import/export permit before transactions.

Q. What are Technical Barriers to import and export?

As a member of the World Trade Organization   Sri Lanka has to follow the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. There are three types of technical barriers:

• Technical Regulations are mandatory technical requirements for importers and exporters (mandatory compliance requirement).

• Technical Standards are the technical requirements to be approved by an organization that has been recognized; and

• Conformity Assessment Procedure This is the process of assessing the suitability of a commodity with the regulations and technical criteria.

Q. Do I have to use a Customs House Agent for importing or exporting commercial goods?

Yes.  Using a Customs Agent should ensure that all regulatory requirements are properly discharged and may save unnecessary delays. Customs brokers and customs broker employees shall exercise the rights and perform the obligations of customs declarants as prescribed in the Customs Ordinance of Sri lanka. Please click here  for more information.

Q. Can I clear my goods at any Customs office in Sri Lanka or do they have to be cleared at a specific Customs office?

You must clear the goods at the Customs office where the Customs authorities receive, register and verify customs documents and conduct physical inspection of goods.

Places of inspection are at the , international civil airports; international post offices; seaports, and Inland Customs Depots where import, export, exit, entry and transit operation are carried out.

Q. Do I have to submit my Customs declaration through ASYCUDA or can I continue to prepare it manually?

ASYCUDA (AUTOMATED SYSTEM FOR CUSTOMS DATA) is the Sri Lanka Automatic Customs Clearance System. If you are importing and exporting goods through the ports and airports you must enter your eDeclaration into the ASYCUDA system. A manually prepared declaration is no longer acceptable, except for travelers. 

Q. Who should register as an Importers or Exporters with Customs?

Any individual or company that regularly declares commercial goods movements to Sri Lanka Customs.

Please click here to register with Custom

Q. How can I sign up to use digital signatures in e-customs procedures?

To register digital signatures in e-customs procedures, enterprises must have a digital signature provided by the licensed service provider Under the purview of the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Once you have a digital signature, you must register at Customs portal.

Q. What do I need do to import animals?

Import permits from the Department of animal production and health are required to import animals into Sri Lanka. Please visit http://www.daph.gov.lk for more information.

Q. How do I import into and Export from an Export Processing Zone?

Please click here for detailed procedures for import, and click here for detailed procedures for export.

Q. We have exported in a foreign currency which does not appear in the Customs list. How can we calculate the foreign exchange received for discharging our export obligations?

In such cases, the total realized value in Sri Lanka should be converted into USD by using the USD or Sri Lanka Rupee exchange rate prevailing on the date of realization as published  by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Q. What should I do if I disagree with a decision made by Customs?

If you disagree with a decision made by Customs, based on the Customs Ordinance on the rights and obligations of Customs declarants, you can make an appeal to the respective Director of Customs in charge the particular Customs division. If anyone is not satisfied with the decision of the respective Director of Customs he or she can make a further appeal to the Director General of Customs. If anyone is still not satisfied with the Decision of the DGC he or she can make an appeal to the Minister in charge of Customs under section 164 and 165 of the Customs ordinance. Further redress also can be obtained through courts of law under the common laws of the country. Please consult the Customs Ordinance for more details.

Q. Which are the major FTAs of Sri Lanka?

Please click here to find the list of FTAs.

Q.  What is the procedure for obtaining the certificate of origin?

Please visit the Department of commerce or the websites of Ministry of Industry and Commerce for more details.

Q.  How much is the goods duty-free limit for goods sent by courier? 

Please visit www.customs.gov.lk for details

Q. Are goods imported to produce goods to be exported exempted from customs duty? 

Yes, goods imported for processing or export production are exempted from customs duty on predetermined conditions and the provision of a bank guarantee/company guarantee to cover the dues on such goods imported.

Q. Are goods for diplomatic missions exempted from duty?

Yes. All goods and vehicles for diplomatic missions approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are exempted from Customs duty. 

Q. Do I need to fill in a Customs Declaration when I arrive in Sri Lanka.?

No. You can just walk through the Nothing to Declare - Green Channel. If you are carrying goods in excess of the duty free allowance or if you are in doubt you must walk through the Red Channel and declare the goods to the Customs Officer on duty. At some airports you can see Green and Red flash lights, which represent Green and Red Channels. If you are in doubt about this, please ask Customs officers at the airports. 

Q. What are the duty free allowances for travelers when entering Sri Lanka?

Click here to view the duty free allowances when entering Sri Lanka.

Q. Can I bring personal belongings into Sri Lanka if I am taking up residence and will they be subject to duty?

Generally, personal effects (except for motor vehicles/cars etc.) are exempted from Customs duties as long as they are not of a commercial nature and within the prescribed limit decided by Customs. If you are in doubt about the eligibility of certain items, you should contact Customs. Generally, holders of residence visas receive equal treatment as far as the free allowance entitlements are concerned.

Q. Can I bring food or plant materials into Sri Lanka?

Yes, as long as they conform to the laws and regulations regarding these materials. 

Q. Does livestock need to be quarantined when brought into Sri Lanka?

Not necessarily.  When you obtain an import permit from the Department of animal production and health   you will be advised of whether this is a requirement.

Q.  We are a foreign company who is interested in executing a project for a Company. Can we open a project office in Sri Lanka?

Please visit the website of www.modsit.lk  for more details.

Q.  How do I get a TIN number?

A company Tax Payer Identification Number (TIN) number is a provided by the Department of Inland Revenue. Click here to visit the website of the department of Inland Revenue www.ird.gov.lk/

Q. Where can I find more FAQs?

For more questions & answers regarding import, export and customs procedures, you can access customs.gov.lk website. You can also visit following agencies for more FAQs:

 

Sri Lanka Customs

www.customs.gov.lk/ 

Department of Commerce

www.doc.gov.lk/

Department of import and Export Control

www.imexport.gov.lk/ 

Department of Foreign Exchange 

www.ecd.lk/

Department of Agriculture

www.doa.gov.lk/index.php/en/

Bureau of investment

www.investsrilanka.com

Sri Lanka Standards Institute

www.slsi.lk/

Sri Lanka Tea Board

http://www.pureceylontea.com/

Sri Lanka Export Development Board 

www.srilankabusiness.com/                             

Telecommunication regulatory authority of Sri Lanka

www.trc.gov.lk/

National Medicines Regulatory Authority

http://nmra.gov.lk/  

National intellectual property office of Sri Lanka:  

www.nipo.gov.lk/ 

The Department of Animal Production and health (DAPH) 

www.daph.gov.lk/

SriLankan Cargo

www.srilankancargo.com/

The Department of Export Agriculture

http://www.exportagridept.gov.lk/

The Department of Excise

http://www.excise.gov.lk/

Department of wildlife conservation

http://www.dwc.gov.lk/

Department of Forest Conservation   

www.forestdept.gov.lk

Department of Ayurveda

www.ayurveda.gov.lk/

Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Regulatory council

www.aerc.gov.lk/Home/

Food control administration unit

www.health.gov.lk/  

National Gem and Jewellery Authority

www.treasury.gov.lk

Ministry of Industry and commerce

www.industry.gov.lk/

Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development

petroleummin.gov.lk/

Department of Inland Revenue

www.ird.gov.lk

National Dangerous Drugs control Board

www.nddcb.gov.lk/

 

 

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