Central Intelligence Directorate

Gathering information and developing intelligence is an essential component of any law enforcing agency. In the Customs department also the Central Intelligence directorate is made for that purpose. Like in almost all the Customs administrations in the world, in Sri Lanka Customs also an Intelligence unit was established. Started as a small unit before a decade this unit was upgraded to a directorate in 2010. Headed by a director this directorate is armed with 24 persons belongs to different ranks.

The main objectives of the Intelligence directorate is to collect information, storing and analyzing them, develop intelligence and disseminate to appropriate working points.

The Central Intelligence Directorate is responsible to provide more effective, timely, accurate and relevant intelligence to operational units and to senior management in support of achieving their goals in collection of revenue and trade facilitation while protecting the community.

The objectives are;

  • To ensure furnishing of intelligence in support of decision making to achieve the department objectives.
  • Be the National Contact Point (NCP) and Focal Point for sharing of intelligence and enforcement assistance.
  • To emphasize the operation of intelligence led control system on cargo and passenger clearance.
  • To ensure national security on cross boarder cargo and passenger movements.

Key activities of Central Intelligence Directorate

  • Maintaining a Public Information Receiving Desk (PIRD) round the clock to receive information from the Public.
  • Marinating an internal database, “Previous Offence Database” to keep records of Customs Offences.
  • Analyzing and Developing Intelligence received locally and internationally.
  • Issuing alerts and disseminating of information accordingly.
  • Entering significant cases done by Sri Lanka Customs to the WCO – CEN Database.
  • Keeping vigilance on CEN and alerts issued by WCO & RILOS.
  • Acting as the NCP for Regional Intelligence Liaison Office of the Asia & Pacific (RILO A/P) and focal point for international enforcement coordination.
  • Corresponding with other enforcement Agencies. (Police, Armed Forces, Import Control Department, Sri Lanka Standard Institute, Cosmetics Drugs &Dangerous Drugs Authority etc).
  • Intercepting high risk cargo consignment by reviewing cargo manifests and based on intelligence and cause investigations.
  • Operating of container Security Initiative project (CSI) at the Colombo Port.(Containers bound to United States ports will be pre- screened at Colombo port jointly by the US Border Control staff and Sri Lanka Customs staff)

The above chart shows the placement of the Central Intelligence directorate in the enforcement sectors of the department. , CI collects all seizure data relating to customs Offences from all possible sources and they are entered into the internal data base,” Previous Offence Data Base”. By filtering, sorting and analyzing all these information received, CI develops intelligence and disseminates related information, alerts to relevant enforcement authorities to act accordingly. Significant cases are entered in the CEN with all required details to make available for members to use them for developing the intelligence to prevent the potential threat of smuggling.

WCO – CEN Database

What is CEN?

CEN or Customs Enforcement Network is a system created and maintained by the World Customs Organization. The important component o this is the Database.

WCO –CEN Database updating by Sri Lanka Customs

This directorate is responsible for updating the WCO – CEN data base with the details of significant detections done by Sri Lanka Customs. As soon as detection is done the officials of the intelligence directorate gather information related to the detection and update the CEN database with available photographs. This will help the other Customs administrations to take precautionary measures to protect their boarders from similar smuggling activities. It is also a duty of this directorate analyze the CEN database and find out any possible smuggling threats to us.

Regional Intelligence Liaisons Office (RILO) – Asia and the Pacific

The RILO – Asia and the Pacific office currently based in Korea. From it’s inception in 1987 RILO office based in Hong Kong, Japan and China.

Coordination with RILO office

Sri Lanka Customs very closely works with RILO (A/P) office from the inception of the RILO.The RILO office during the last two years offered several training opportunities to the Customs officers of Sri Lanka. This includes two attachment training. The RILO (A/P) office based in Korea has extended their fullest corporation to Sri Lanka Customs administration for the last two years especially for the correspondence with other Customs and we, Sri Lanka Customs, fully appreciate their excellent work.

PIRD (Public Information Receiving Desk)

This is 24×7 operative information receiving desk from the public.

Risk Management Unit

Risk Management is the systematic application of management procedures and practices which will provide customs with necessary information to address the risk. The potential for non compliance with relevant statutory requirements and the potential failure to provide an appropriate level of facilitation are key risks which customs administration is faced.

The Sri Lanka Government policy is to promote legitimate international trade in Sri Lanka and there is an increasing emphasis on facilitation of the movement of cargo into and out of the country. therefore customs has to minimize human intervention in its clearance process and procedures and introduced system based controls.

With the fulfillment of above objectives Sri Lanka Customs has established a Risk management unit to use risk managements tools to maintain balance between control and facilitation. Automated selectivity program use risk management tools which also includes risk indicator to analyze and assessment of potential risk. Risk assessment tools drive through automated selectivity programme in the ASYCUDA systems through which import data declared will be analyzed on the basis of identified risk parameters. Depending on the selected risk levels , consignment will be routed through different channels for customs examination.

Valuation database is another important risk assessment tool which is used by customs Administration along with other risk tools to assesses potential risk regarding truth or accuracy of the declared value for imported goods. It enables customs to compare the declared value to the customs reference value in the database. This task can be achieved by establishment of reference valuation database using ASYCUDA system with use of Intelligence software to retrieve and analysis of the data in the system. Establishment of the Valuation database is in the initial stage and expected to be completed within months ahead.

with the objective of facilitating legitimate traders , a fast track documentation program has been introduced by the unit which provide green channel facility for documentary process at Long room. This facilitation process will be enhanced for green channel facility for cargo examination too in time to come.

Application of principles of Risk Management in order to achieve the balance between control and facilitation is the key task of the Risk Management unit.

Main Functions

  1. Fast Track Documentation Program at Long Room
    • Identification of compliant traders and granting to provide Fast Track Documentation facility at the Long Room through various criteria.
    • Visiting the offices of such identified traders to assess their internal procedures and accounting systems etc.
    • Maintain a fast track consignee list and monitor the compliance of them.
  2. Selection of High Risk Cargo
    • Identification of High Risk Cargo through various analysis and query plans.
    • Timely evaluation and monitoring of the HRC list
    • Update the HRC list frequently
  3. Automated Selectivity Program
    • Identification of Risk Parameters
    • Setting up Risk Levels for each Risk Parameter
    • Determining appropriate Risk Levels for meaningful routing of consignments for Customs examination.
    • Conducting feasibility studies towards proposed functions of the Automated Selectivity Program
    • Collating appropriate test data for test runs
    • Perform test runs
  4. Valuation Database
    • Storing Customs reference values for imported goods
    • Cluster each HS/Item against its Description/Attributes for each of which reference values are stored on the database.
    • Conducting feasibility studies towards proposed functions of the Valuation Database
    • Collating appropriate test data for test runs
    • Perform test runs

Contact Us

The Central Intelligence Directorate is located in the 4 th floor of the Customs Headquarters building.

Information receiving Hotline: +94 11 2471471
Director of Customs (CI): TEL – +94 11 2221430, EXT- 7430, FAX – +94 11 2399639
Deputy Director of Customs (CI): TEL – +94 11 2221432, EXT – 7432
Superintendent of Customs (CI): EXT. – 7435/7436
OIC (CI) / Office – General: +94 11 2431854
FAX: +94 11 2472423

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I obtain information regarding imports/exports procedure, TIN number registration procedure, correct HS code to apply in my importation/ exportation or Customs House Agent registration Procedure, refunds or any other matter related to Customs in general through the CI hotline 011-2471471?

A: No. You can visit the Customs Information Centre located in the ground floor of Customs Headquarters at No.40, Main Street, Colombo 11 or contact the same on phone number 011-2342012.

Else, if you know the Directorate/ branch which you want to contact, you can call on 011-2143434 or 011-2470946 to get the operator assistance.

Q: What kind of information can I obtain from the CI Hotline 011 – 2471471?

A: The hotline number 011-2471471 is only for receiving information from the general public regarding any act violating the Customs Law. Such reliable information received by the CI is analyzed to prepare intelligence products which will then be investigated by Customs or disseminated as intelligence alerts for the officers in the respective operational areas to be vigilant.

Successful information will be rewarded.

Q: What kind of services can I obtain from CI as a stakeholder?

A: CI issues Previous Offence summary reports in respect of a Company or an individual, if available, as requested in the event of registration of a business, registration of Customs House Agents, registration of an individual as an importer to clear a consignment which is not of commercial nature, or as requested by any other Governmental Authority as and when necessary.