Exports Directorate

Exports Directorate is one of the oldest directorates established at Sri Lanka Customs. Focusing Trade Facilitation and Social Protection of the country, Sri Lanka Customs has implemented numerous Export promotional schemes in collaboration with other state agencies that have made pathways to facilitate legitimate export trade. Furthermore, Sri Lanka Customs has introduced several facilitation measures in simplifying CusDec processing procedures. While facilitating export trade, the other objective is monitoring and controlling the exports of restricted goods. The focus is safeguarding cultural and national heritage, socio economic, and ecological interest of the country.

Export Head office oversees all export functions and manages all the branches and units coming under the export directorate. In addition this office attends to some of the operational tasks.

Main operational functions carried out at export head office.

  • Processing of LCL, Re-exports CusDecs, etc.

Warranting of Export CusDecs pertaining to LCL cargo, UPB cargo, Re-exports, Non-perishable air-cargo are carried out at this office.

In regard to the Re-exports, a request has to be made clearly specifying the reasons for the Re-exportation with supporting documents. These approvals are generally granted at this office.

  • Issuance of Free Re-Importation Certificate (FRIC)

There may be instances where an exporter exports an item with the intention of bringing in the same back into the country.

To cater this need, Sri Lanka Customs issues FRIC at the time of exportation. This certificate will be used to clear the goods without payment of customs duty and other levies at the time of re-importation.

This facility can be utilized not only by the exporters but also by individuals carrying the goods when they travel, sending through postal, courier, etc.

In such instances, Sri Lanka Customs provides the facility of re-importing such goods without paying the applicable duties. A Free Importation Certificate (FRIC) is issued at the time of exportation (either by hand/passenger or through an Exports CusDec) of such items in-order to identify when re-importing. This FRIC is valid only for 2 years from the issuance date.

FRIC is generally issued to goods which can be easily identifiable (i.e. engraved serial number) at the time of exportation and importation.

  • Certification of Bill of Store

If the goods exported from Sri Lanka has been returned back to the country for certain reasons, such goods can be cleared without payment of customs duty and other levies by producing fully authenticated Bill of Store. This document is initiated/registered at D-branch of the Declaration Directorate and referred to exports directorate to certify the exportation of the said goods from Sri Lanka. This Directorate confirms it in the Bill of Store.  

  • Registration of CARNET

CARNET is an international Customs document that permits the tax-free/duty-free temporary export and import of non-perishable goods.

Sri Lanka Customs accepts temporary admission of goods on both A.T.A and C.P.D CARNET.

At the time of exportation of goods brought under CARNET is registered at this office and forwarded to the exit point such as Air Cargo exports, Exports Facilitation Center (EFC).

  • Issuance of Shipment/Export Certificate

Shipment Certificate is an authenticated document which confirms an export. Exporters sometimes need this certificate to submit it as a proof to certain authorities.

This certificate is issued at this office, on a request made by the exporter along with the supporting documents, on recovery of a fee of Rs.250/- per certificate.

  • Approval for transshipments

Certain approval for transshipment operations such as sea to air transshipments, transferring of ship spares, Multi Country Cargo Consolidation (MCC), rework, etc. are granted at this office.

Export Facilitation Centre located few hundred meters on the way to the Colombo Port is a one stop Centre handling all sea cargo exported through Port of Colombo.

This office handles BOI and Non BOI Export Cargo. Cusdec Processing and examination of BOI cargo are handled by the BOI Offices and channeled through the EFC. Non BOI Cusdecs are processed in Export Head Office, Industries and Services Directorate and in the EFC.

All sea cargo exports are sent as containerized cargo with a small exception (i.e. bulk cargo). Thus EFC receives exports goods in containers. The containers are weighed, examined (if selected – non BOI), acknowledged and forwarded to the respective port terminals for the export. Only a small percentage of the consignments are examined at the EFC (at present it’s around three percent). Actions are being taken to install a Container Scanner which will help to further reduce the physical examination of the export Cargo.

In addition, passing of Boat Note (permission to load the goods in the vessel) and effecting the Export Release (conformation of the export) are also carried out at the EFC. Though these functions are carried out manually, actions are being taken to carry out these automatically in the Asycuda system.

LCL consignments are handed over by the exporters to a Container Freight Station (CFS) where the LCL goods are consolidated, loaded into containers and sent to the EFC.

EFC, headed by a Deputy Director of Customs consists of four Superintendent of Customs and several Assistant Superintendent of Customs and Inspectors of Customs. In addition, officers of Other Government Agencies and Authorities namely Sri Lanka Tea Board, Plant Quarantine Service, Sri Lanka Port Authority also are deployed in this office. This facility is operated by a private company and several of their staffs also deployed at this office.

EFC functions around the clock, all 365 days.

Air Cargo Export Office known as Air Cargo Village Terminal (ACVT) locate at the cargo section of the Bandaranayke International Airport (BIA) handles the air cargo consignment including air couriers and air mail.

This office handles BOI and Non BOI Export Cargo. Cusdec Processing and examination of BOI cargo are handled by the BOI Offices and channeled through to ACVT. Non BOI Cusdecs (general cargo) are processed in Export Head Office, Industries and Services Directorate at Customs head office whereas the Cusdecs pertaining to perishable and urgent cargo are handled at the ACVT.

Some of the air cargo is exported through Mattala Rajapaksha International Airport (MIRA) and at present documentation, examination of cargo, etc., are handled by the ACVT before transferring the goods to MIRA.

ACVT, headed by a Deputy Director of Customs consists of two Superintendent of Customs, few Assistant Superintendent of Customs and Inspectors of Customs. Offices of Plant Quarantine Service, Sri Lankan Airlines and the Customs Shroff are located in the same building.

ACVT functions around the clock, all 365 days.

Export Parcel Service by Sri Lankan Cargo

This office operated by the Sri Lankan Cargo is functioning at 3-G-17, Block 2, BMICH, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7. This office handles and facilitate the exports of small airfreight shipments of generally less than 100 Kg and value of USD 800 or its equivalent.

Two Assistants Superintends of Customs are attached to this office to attend to the Customs formalities.

Exporters/senders of goods thorough this facility need not to have the Tax Identification Number (TIN). Nevertheless, identification documents such as National Identity Card or the Passport or the Business Registration Certificate are required.

The contact number of this office is 0710213276. Exporters/senders are generally expected to call and obtain the Airway Bill Number before bringing the goods to this office.

License/approval from Other Government Agencies (OGAs) are required to export certain goods. Please refer the “Licenses/Approvals of OGAs”.

Goods handed over to this office will be examined in presence of the exporter/sender by the officials of Customs and Sri Lankan Airlines Security Staffs, sealed and transferred to Air Cargo Village Terminal (ACVT) at the cargo section of the Bandaranayke International Airport (BIA), Katunayake for export.

 This office is open during all working days and closed on weekends and public holidays.

A Container Freight Station (CFS) is a specially approved facility where Less Container Load (LCL) export shipments are received, stored and consolidated in containers for export as Full Container Load (FCL).

 Generally, CFSs are manned by Assistant Superintendent/s of Customs and supervised by Superintendent of Customs. 

 At present, Seven Container Freight Stations (CFS) are operated under the Exports Directorate.

  • ACE Containers (Pvt) Ltd.
  • Colombo Logistics (Pvt) Ltd.
  • Expo Lanka Freight (pvt) Ltd.
  • Global Transportation and Logistics (pvt) Ltd.
  • John Keells Logistics (Pvt) Ltd.
  • Logilink (Pvt) Ltd.
  • Logistic Park (Pvt) Ltd.

 Cargo is transported to these CFSs by the exporters with duly processed export documents.

 BOI shipments are verified at BOI verification centers and transported to the CFSs. 

All CFSs functions around the clock, all 365 days.

Transshipment is a process where containers are transferred from one vessel to another at one location, before being shipped off their intended destination.

Customs formalities of transshipment operations are handled by the ‘D’ Branch of the Declaration Directorate and the Export Directorate.

A branch of the Export Directorate known as ‘Transshipment Warehouse’ handles most of the Customs formalities of the Transshipment.

Inward manifests in respect of the transshipment cargo are handed over to the ‘D’ Branch and to the Transshipment warehouse.

Even though most of the documentation, supervising and monitoring of transshipment operation is carried out by the Transshipment warehouse, certain approvals such as re-work of Multi Country Consolidation (MCC), sea to air, air to sea are granted in the Export head office.

Transshipment Warehouse functions around the clock, all 365 days.

The ‘Ship Stores’ supplied by approved Ship Chandlers are mainly handled by this office. Generally consumable goods used in the vessels are called as ‘Ship Stores’.

There are approved Ship Chandlers for this purpose. These approvals are renewed annually by Sri Lanka Ports Authority and approved by Sri Lanka Customs.  

Old Export Office functions around the clock, all 365 days.

The following License and Approvals are necessary for certain items under various Acts and Ordinances.

 CommodityType of Approval/Authority
1All Alcoholic Beverages, fermented beverages and Un-denatured BeveragesDepartment of Excise
2All Currency Notes and Coins Central Bank of Sri Lanka
3All Live or Dead Animals and Parts thereof                               Department of Animal Production and Health (Animal Quarantine Service)
4All Live or Dead Plants and Parts there of                         

Forest Department.

National Plant Quarantine Service

5All Over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs & Medicines (Western Drugs)                     National Medicine Regulatory Authority
6All Weapons, Arms & AmmunitionMinistry of Defense
7AmbergisMinistry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development
8AntiquesDepartment of Archaeology
9ArecanutsDepartment of Commerce (for Exports under Preferential rates in the Importing Country)
10Ayurveda DrugsDepartment of Ayurveda
11Brand New Boats

‘Approval for Exportation’ issued by   Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development

Ministry of Defense

12Brand-new VehiclesNo-Objection for Exportation’ issued by Commissioner of Motor Traffic
13Coconut ProductsCoconut Development Authority
14Documents and Manuscripts               

Department of National Archives

Department of Archaeology

15Gem, Jewelries, etc.   National Gem & Jewelry Authority
16Human Ashes                           

Death Certificate Issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths

Certificate issued by the Medical Officer of Municipal Authority where the ashes were obtained

17Human Dead Body                   

Death Certificate Issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths

Certificate from Ministry of Health

18Minerals / Mineral Products  Geological Survey & Mines Bureau
19Natural RubberDepartment of Rubber Development
20Petroleum Oils & Oils obtained from bituminous mineralsCentral Environmental Authority
21Raw hides & skins

Department of Animal Production and Health

Department of Wildlife Conservation

22Ready Made Garments               State Ministry of Batik, Handloom and Local Apparel Products
23Registered Vehicles                          

De-Registration Certificate’   issued by Commissioner of Motor Traffic

‘No-Objection for Exportation’ issued by Commissioner of Motor Traffic

24Sea CucumberMinistry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development
25Sea Weeds & other Algae

Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Department of Agriculture

Department of Wildlife Conservation

26Statues of Lord Buddha                     Department of Archaeology
27TeaSri Lanka Tea Board

Tobacco & manufactured Tobacco substitutes.

Cigars, Cheroots, Beedi, Cigarettes

Department of Excise
29Unused Postage StampsDepartment of Imports and Exports Control
30Used Boats                             

‘De-Registration Certificate’ and ‘Approval for Exportation’ issued by   Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development

Ministry of Defense


Waste and scrap of Ferrous products, stainless steel, Ingots and other primary form.

Waste and scrap of Aluminum, Copper, Brass, Lead, Nickel, Tin and Zinc etc.  

Department of Imports and Exports Control

Ministry of Industry and Commerce

32Waste material with any hazardous characteristic listed down in the Basel Convention of which Sri Lanka is a signatory party.Central Environmental Authority
33Wood & articles of woodForest Department


Contact Information

Head office

Export Division, 1st Floor, Customs House, No 40, Main Street, Colombo 11.

Telephone:  General – +94 11 2143434

DC      – 7120
DDC   – 7122
CEO    – 7124
OIC     – 7125

Fax:  +94 11 2337077
Email: exp@customs.gov.lk  

Export Facilitation Center (EFC)

478/3, K. Cyril C. Perera Mawatha, Colombo 13.

Telephone : +94 11 722 1367

Fax: +94 11 233 2445
Air Cargo Exports

Air Cargo Village Terminal, Katunayake.
Telephone : +94 11 226 4478