The declarations Directorate consisting “D” Branch, Long room, Motor Vehicle Unit Document Centre (Doc Centre) operates within the cluster of Revenue and services (Colombo) in the new reform structure. The Brief hierarchy of the directorate is shown below.
Main Objectives of the Directorate
The main objective of the directorate is, providing facilities to process declarations for Import Cargo and Cargo to be bonded. To fulfill this objective, the Directorate has specially made the arrangements to
- Receive the CusDec through DTI / EDI through Internet
- Confirmation of updated manifest and payment of duties and other levies of CusDecs
- Provide Fast Track facilities for Selected Importers
- Process the CusDec by SC/Appraiser
- Issuing internal passes for removal of FCL containers from the SLPA, SAGT, CICT yards
- Clearance of Cargo FCL at container yards and LCL at ware houses
The Automation of processing has been now fully implemented through: “Asycuda World” to facilitate the importers to process the cusdec without delay. All details of the CusDec are now being captured in the “Asycuda” System at Long Room (2nd Floor) which permits users to lodge their CusDecs directly from their offices using DTI facilities,
Only the commodity classifications aspects are handled manually by knowledgeable Staff consisting SCC/Appraisers.
Other objectives of the Directorate
- Facilitation of clearance of imported cargo.
- Facilitation of Cargo to be bonded.
- Minimize the revenue leakages / foreign exchange loses through classification aspects of the goods.
- Conduct enforcement activities in terms of customs ordinance and related laws through “D” Branch.
- Assess and collect the due revenue to the state on imported Cargo
- Facilitate for project cargo clearance by waiving off the Levies approved by the M/Finance.
- Facilitate to permit holders / legitimate importers to speedy clearance of their vehicles/cargo.
- Facilitate for various Government Department/other organizations / General Public to clear the goods against provisional CusDecs. Duty waivers/exemption and suspend of duty and taxes as per the state policy are granted.
- Effect enforcement of prohibition and restriction.
The long room staff ensure the speedy CusDec processing and clearance of imported cargo without undue delay while collecting the due revenue to the state. These officials are vigilant on the commodities which requires permits and/or/special authorization for inward clearance from local Authorities such as Import and Export Controller, Food and Drugs Authority, Sugar cane research Institute, Cosmetics Devices and Drugs Authority, Sri Lanka Standards Institute, Atomic Energy Authority, Telecommunications and also the certificates issued by the exporting country such as phytosanitary certificate, Fumigation certificate, spice board certificate and Load Port survey report, Special attention to be carried out by the importer for the following aspects.
- The authorization from the carrier (the ship) to claim clearance of the consignment;
- Full description of the consignment using the appropriate codes used in the system;
- Classification of the goods correctly in the Harmonized System Nomenclature based on which the Customs Imports Tariff based;
- Declaration of the true transaction value of the consignment;
- Declaration of the values using the applicable kind of currency; at the applicable party rate (exchange rate);
- Transmit the payment (foreign exchange) for the consignment through the accepted/permitted banking channels;
- Attach the necessary authorization documents, licenses, permits, certificate etc as applicable.
If all above Aspects are in order the Officers concerned may process the CusDecs for clearance of goods.
All goods imported into Sri Lanka must be declared to Customs and duty is payable on them unless they are covered by an exemption or a duty waiver.
Registration of an Importer
If you are an importer wishing to import commercial goods to Sri Lanka, you should first, register your Tax Payer Identification(TIN) number and Value Added Tax(VAT) Number with the Inland Revenue Department of Sri Lanka and thereafter you should register the same number with Sri Lanka Customs.
Before importing goods to Sri Lanka, you should ensure that they do not fall into the category of Prohibited goods. Prohibited goods cannot be imported, exported or transited, sold or circulated in Sri Lanka. Main prohibited items are Narcotics, Psychotropic substances. The list of Prohibited goods are given in the Schedule B of the Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235)
For Certain items it is necessary to obtain an approval from various departments and Authorities depending on the item imported. Those Departments and authorities are
- Import and export control Department
- Sri Lanka Standardize Institute
- Telecommunication Regulatory Commission
- Animal Quarantine Department
- Plant Quarantine Department
- Agriculture Department
- Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Authority
- Health Department
- Ministry of Defense
Customs House Agent
All import declarations should be submitted to Customs through a Customs House Agent who is registered with the Customs department.