Sri Lanka Customs
No 40, Main Street,
Colombo 11, Sri Lanka.
Tele: +94 11 2445147
Fax: +94 11 2446364
Imports & Exports
Sri Lanka had been primarily an agricultural and self-dependant sovereign nation in the ancient past. Due to historical, political and economical changes it has ceased to be a self-dependant nation. Today it is mainly dependent on trade and the Imports Division of the Sri Lanka Customs Department plays a vital role in this regard in the economy.
Responsibilities & Objectives
To ensure this task the Imports division consists of three separate units namely Long Room, "D" branch and Postal Appraising unit according to the functions; headed by Director (Imports and Tariff).
In the Case of a passenger, who is ordinary resident in Sri Lanka (and is not a tourist) goods which such person brings accompanied or unaccompanied or purchased at any approved duty Free Shop upon arrival in Sri Lanka subject to the conditions specified here in after: -
that such goods are bona fide for his personal use or the use of a member or members of his family provided that the total quantity brought or purchased in respect of any single item is not a commercial quantity as determined by the Director General of Customs;
that such goods are brought by a passenger on his arrival in Sri Lanka or are landed within 30 days before or within 90 days after his arrival or within such further period as the Director General of Customs, may in the circumstances of each case, determine, or are purchased from an approved Duty Free Shop upon his arrival or are brought within 90 days of the First issue of a Resident Visa.
That such goods will not include the following:
In the case of a passenger who is a tourist, the personal effects which such person wears or brings with him on his arrival in Sri Lanka for his personal use but does not include goods which are;
goods imported or purchased at any Duty Free Shop purpose of sale or exchange;
goods which are the property of any person other than the passenger;
motor vehicle other than Motor cycles, Motor scooters and auto cycles with an engine capacity of 350cc or below and if such vehicle had been used the first registration should not have earlier than three years from the date of shipment;
goods to be given as to any person other than a member of his family;
- in commercial quantities as determined by the Director General of Customs; or
- imported for purposes of sale or exchange; or
- the property of any person other than the passenger or a member of his family traveling with him; or
- to be given as a gift to any other person:
Postal Appraising Unit
- Sri Lankan Passport Holder (Adults & Minors)
- Foreign Passport Holder with Sri Lanka Resident Visa.
- Airline Crew (Foreign Nationals & Sri Lankans)
- Ship’s Crew (Foreign Nationals & Sri Lankans)
- Parcel Post
- Favour Parcels
- Customs Declaration Form - Inward
- Customs Declaration Form - Outward
- Airway Bill - Inward/Outward
- Airline Notice
- Delivery Order
- Bill of lading
- Passenger manifest / Cargo Manifest
- Passport / Emergency Certificate
- Duty Free Certificate
- Letter regarding A,B, & C facilities
- Baggage Tag
- Power of Attorney
- Excess Baggage Ticket<
- Crew Declaration – Air & Sea
- Package Transfer Application
To facilitate the exporters Sri Lanka Customs Export Procedure has been simplified to a great extent in recent past. Rules and regulations have been relaxed and duty exemptions and concessionary duty rates are given to exporters as an encouragement. Export promotional schemes have been implemented with collaboration with other state agencies as a part of state endeavor to develop Sri Lanka as a country with an export oriented economy. In addition Sri Lanka Customs pays a great attention in all export related activities to safeguard national wealth such as archeological treasure and fauna and flora by implementing related laws.
Export Goods Declaration
- Personal clothing and other essentials;
- Two regular-size bottles of wine and one and a half liters of spirits;
- Toilet water not exceeding a quarter litre , and a small quantity of perfume and souvenirs, value not exceeding US $ 250 not meant for commercial purpos
Promotional Privileges for Exports
Baggage concession free or otherwise are granted only once within a period of one year (365 days) unless otherwise determined by the Director General of Customs.
- The importation, examination and delivery of Inward passenger’s baggage and the examination and export of outward passenger’s baggage are governed by Section 107A(1) and 107A(2) respectively, of the Customs Ordinance amended by Customs (Amendment) Act No. 83 of 1988, and the regulation framed there under.
Passenger’s Baggage (exemption) Regulations now in force referred to above have been approved by the Hon. Minister of Finance on 10th November, 1993 and they have been published in Government Gazette Extraordinary No. 792/17 of 10.11.1993 as amended by Government Gazette Extraordinary No.1234/17 of 29th April 2002, Government Gazette Extraordinary No 1282/3 of 31st March 2003 and Government Gazette Extraordinary No. 1438/24 of 31.03.2006.
The other Sections of the customs Ordinance which are relevant to the importation, exportation and examination of passenger’s baggage are:
12, 43, 44, 119, 125, 130, 138, 140, 142, 146, 147, 154, 163 and 165.
The Baggage Division handles only a limited number of gift packages. When any bone-fide gifts in light-weight packages from unsuspected origins are received as sea-freight, such packages are allowed for examination and release from the Baggage Office. For this purpose the recipient or his agent should present an application to the Charges Officer (C.O) at Baggage Office will Bill of Lading or Delivery Order and with any other relevant documents, and obtain permission to transfer the packages to Baggage Office. C.O. will peruse the documents and if he is satisfied that the packages contain only unsolicited hone-fide gifts, the transfer will be permitted. On receipt of the packages at Baggage Office, they will be examined and released on recovery of duty and other levies, subject to action being taken on any restricted or prohibited items. Transfer of heavy packages to Baggage Office, which are suspected to contain goods for commercial purposes is not allowed although entered as ‘Gifts’. Such packages should be cleared following the procedure of passing Bill of Sight in the Long Room.
All Gift Package received as Airfreight are transferred from Air Cargo Terminal at katunayake to the Bonded warehouses, along with unaccompanied packages. At these Bond Warehouses such gift parcel are examined on a Customs Import Entry presented to the Customs Appraiser. Duty and other charges are recovered on the Entry which is ‘Satisfied’ by the Assistant Director of Customs, prior to release the goods.
Note: No duty free allowance is available for gift parcels.