“D” Branch can be considered as the Secretariat of the Directorate. Historically, when the Controller General of Customs was appointed 200 years ago, reportedly there had been four (4) clerks working under him, handling four subjects known as the ‘A’ subject, ‘B’ subject, ‘C’ subject, ‘D’ subject and so on. In time to come, ‘A’ subject grew up to become the current Human Resource Management Directorate, formerly known as the “Admin Branch”. “C” subject clerk was handling “Port Dues” and later it grew up to be the entire Sri Lanka Ports Authority, now a separate organization in itself. The old “D” Branch, which was historically
Coordinating between the Treasury and the Customs, granting duty waivers and exemptions, receiving cargo manifests etc, still continue to do more or less the same job, and continues to be known by its original name.
“D” branch has various units to facilitates the importers/general public
- DRA Unit
- Bank Guarantee Unit
- Duty Waiver Unit
- Bulk Cargo Monitoring Unit
- Carnet Unit
- Manifest Unit
- Investigation Unit
- Motor Vehicle permit screening writing off unit/headed by DDC (D)
Some of the important and prominent functions handled by the “D” Branch
- Register Duty waivers granted by the Ministry of Finance and facilitate the clearance of those goods on Duty Free basis.
- Grant Duty exemptions and Concessions as per Revenue protection order approved by the parliament.
- Permit the clearance of Diplomatic cargo and Personal Baggage of Diplomatic staff based on the Clearance Certificate issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.
- Grant Duty free or preferential rates of Duty for the Goods imported under various Trade Agreements.
- Facilitate the clearance of Goods consigned to Government Institutions under Deferred Payment Terms in accordance with the instructions of Ministry of Finance and Planning.
- Facilitate the clearance of Goods on Provisional Basis where CusDecs cannot be finalized immediately due to various reasons or require Re-export of goods after the completion of event for which they are imported.
- Register and Monitor Project cargo requiring re-export, as decided by the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
- Receive Cargo Manifests and also amendments to them as submitted by shipping Agents.
- Secure Bank Guarantees/Corporate Guarantees where necessary in respect of Provisional CusDecs and other matters as decided by the Director of Customs (Declarations).
- Register vehicles and Equipment temporary imported under CPD Carnet or ATA Carnet for monitoring purposes.
- Monitoring Bulk Cargo Imports and make additional recoveries where necessary.
- Prepare Reports on Duty waivers granted, for the submission of same to Ministry of Finance and Planning.
- Detection of possible violations of Import Control/Regulations/Customs Regulations and take action accordingly in terms of the provisions of Customs Ordinance such as detection of ethanol and motor vehicle cut portions.
- Attend to correspondence with other government and non-government Agencies.
Duty Waivers, Exemptions and Concessions
The Tariff published under section 10 of the Customs Ordinance require the recovery of Customs Duty on rates published therein. However, there is a provision to recover such duties at concessionary rates on selected items. Similarly some items are exempted from the recovery of Duty. Granting of concessionary rates and exemption of Duty are both implemented on recommendations made by the relevant government Authority.
Currently there are 4 concessions and 33 exemptions in force. Importers who wish to obtain such concessions/exemptions on goods imported need to produce recommendation letters issued by the relevant government body to DGC to qualify for this scheme.
Cusdecs carrying such concessions/exemptions should be registered at D branch before processing.
Duty waivers are granted in terms of section 19A of Customs Ordinance by the Minister of Finance. Such waivers can be individual or general. For example Finance Ministry grants general waivers on Petroleum oils, Milk Powder etc from time to time depending on the economic requirements of the country. In addition the Ministry grants individual waivers on goods imported for development projects, goods imported by religious organizations etc. All these waivers are registered at D branch before processing Customs Declarations.
Goods imported temporary ( project cargo/ exhibition cargo) are released on provisional basis pending fulfillment of requirements concerned with the importation. "D" branch provides this facility also to Importers who are unable to complete Customs formalities due to the absence of Originals of Certificates/ HS Classification matters etc.
In some of these instances the Customs will require Bank Guarantee/ Cash Guarantee as security. the importers are then required to provide the Security as required by "D" Branch before processing Cusdecs.
All such Bank Guarantees and Cusdecs processed on provisional basis are registered at "D" Branch.
Goods imported under Trade agreements are either exempted from recovery of Duty or recovery is done on concessionary rates published under such trade agreement. Free Trade Agreements with India and Pakistan provide complete Duty exemption on selected goods imported with the required Country of Origin Certificate. Selected goods imported under Trade agreements like APTA and SAFTA attract concessionary rates of Duty depending on the trade agreement conditions. In all these cases other import levies such as VAT, NBT, and PAL are payable.
Permits Issued for the Importation of Vehicles on Concessionary Rates
Some categories of Public Sector employees are entitled to import motor cars for their private use on concessionary rates. Ministry of Finance and other relevant ministries issue such permits for this purpose. These permits carry conditions relevant for the importation and also the applicable rates of taxes depending on CIF value and engine capacity of the vehicle.
Eligible Tax payers are issued with a Certificate by Inland Revenue Department to import a car on concessionary rates. This Certificate is treated as a permit to import a car on Concessionary rates.
All such permits are registered with "D" Branch before processing of the Cusdec.