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. In order to promote foreign direct investments, rules and regulations have been relaxed and   concessionary duty rates and exemption of duties have been introduced. While facilitating legitimate export trade, the other objective is monitoring and controlling the exports of prohibited and restricted goods. The focus is safeguarding cultural, socio economic, and ecological interest of the country.

  • Exports
    Head
    Office
  • Export Facilitation
    Centre
  • Air Cargo
    Exports
  • Trans-shipment
    Warehouse
  • Container Freight Stations
  • Licenses/
    Approvals
    of OGAs

  • Contacts

Issuance of Shipment/Export Certificate

Exports Directorate issues Shipment/Export Certificates upon the Exporter’s written request.

Shipper has to make a formal request to the DDC (Operations) and get the approval in order to get the shipment certificate.

Requirements to be fulfilled:

  1. Request letter by the Exporter
  2. Export Release in the Asycuda system
  3. Copy of the Export CusDec
  4. Original invoice and the Bill of Lading
  5. A payment of Rs.250/= to the Shroff’s office.

If all the requirements are fulfilled, register the issuance of the certificate in the Registry and Shipment Certificate will be issued from the head office.

Issuance of Free Re-Importation Certificate (FRIC)

There may be instances where an exporter exports an item with the intention of returning the same item back into the country. Examples for such cases are;

1. Exporting an imported item (machinery/electronic items) for the purpose of repair and return.
2. Exporting a locally produced item (drums, transformers) for testing purposes.

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.

Shipper has to make a formal request to the DDC (Operations) and get the approval in order to get the FRIC certificate.

Requirements to be fulfilled:

  1. Request letter by the Exporter
  2. Original invoice with serial number/s, item description, weight and FOB value.
  3. Assessed EX2 CusDec with T Reference Number and procedure code 2040 060 or 058 (for repair).

Warranting of CusDecs in the system is done by SC and selection for examination is made where necessary.

If the shipment is subjected to panel examination, the payments for the panel examination will be registered by the ASC (registration).

Registration of Bill of Store

If the goods exported are re-imported within two years such goods shall be released on Bill of Store without payment of dutie applicable to an import.

Requirements to be fulfilled:

  1. Registration details at D branch (Declaration Directorate)
  2. Export Release in the ASyCuDa System.
  3. Copies of Invoice and the Bill of Lading.

Once the requirements are met, the bill of store has to be registered in Exports head office.

Shipper has to make a formal request to the DDC (Operations) and get the approval.

Processing of Re-exports

Requirements to be fulfilled:

  1. Request Letter from the Exporter.
  2. Copies of Import Documents.
  3. CusDec is submitted under EX 3 with procedure codes starting from 3000 000.
  4. Documents associated with remittance received to the country.

Shipper has to make a formal request to the DDC (Operations) and get the approval in order to process the CusDec for Re-Exports.

Warranting of CusDecs in the system is done by SC and selection for examination is made where necessary.

If the shipment is subjected to ‘panel examination’, the payments for the panel examination will be registered by the ASC (registration).

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 procedures for case such as:

  1. The temporary importation of scientific instruments.
  2. The temporary importation of pedagogic material.
  3. The temporary importation of professional equipment.
  4. The Exhibition and fairs Convention.
  5. The Customs Convention on Temporary importation of private road vehicles.

If the item has been imported to Sri Lanka before, the CARNET document needs to be registered at the D-Branch.

Useful procedure Codes:
1000 205 – CARNET exporting for the first time.
3040 205 – CARNET re-export.
4000 205 – CARNET import.

Requirements to be fulfilled:

  1. Registration at D-branch
  2. If the item is a vehicle, no-objection letter by the Department of Motor Traffic.
  3. Non-expired CARNET document.

Once the requirements are fulfilled, register the CARNET and keep copies of the CARNET and other relevant documents.

Processing of LCL and other CusDecs

Warranting of Export CusDecs pertaining to LCL cargo, UPB (LCL) cargo, Non-perishable cargo (air-freight) and other special cases are also carried out at the Export Head Office Division.

Warranting of such CusDecs in the system is done by SC and selection for examination is made where necessary.

If the shipment is subjected to panel examination, the payments for the panel examination will be registered by the ASCC (registration).

Other

Registration and issuing of Transshipment Sea to Air gate passes.

Issuance of special electronic approval for Areca-nut Shipments prior to submission the Export CusDecs subject to the approval of quantity by the Department of Commerce.

Processing of Customs Declarations (CusDecs) for Non-BOI consignments.

Export CusDecs are lodged and assessed by the Exporter or the authorized representative (wharf Rep) in the ASYCUDA world system. Along with the CusDec supportive documents such as invoice, packing list and scanned copies of the relevant approvals and licenses from other government agencies, are uploaded in the system. Approvals from CDA (Coconut Development Authority) and Tea Board are granted online for their products.

Warranting of CusDec in the system is done by Superintendent of Customs (SC), therein selection for examination is made where necessary after perusing all the uploaded documents.

Processing of Non-BOI FCLs at Export Facilitation Center (EFC)

When a container is ready for shipment electronic cargo dispatch note (e-CDN) is lodged in the ASYCUDA World system by the Exporter or by the representative.

Container enters EFC with seven hard copies of the e-CDN and a copy of the CusDec.

At the entrance of the EFC, service provider (Trico Logistics) issues a gate pass (yellow color) for the container.

Driver of the lorry, park the lorry with the container, get down from and hands over the issued gate pass, seven copies of the e-CDN and the copy of the CusDec to the Trico counter.  

NB: This happens if the container is not selected for panel examination. If the container is selected for the panel examination wharf representative shall come to the EFC with all the relevant documents for the panel examination.

Acknowledging ASC acknowledges the e-CDN in Asycuda system, and signs on 3 hard copies of the e-CDN. ASC at acknowledgement proceeds the documents to the Trico counter after acknowledging. Trico counter issues the exit pass (blue color) after keeping the entry pass (yellow color).

If the container is a one which is selected for the panel examination, then wharf representative comes to the EFC. He submits the panel form and other relevant documents to the SC panel appointing. SC panel appointing appoint the ASC for the panel examination. Panel examination is then executed. If no discrepancy is found, acknowledgement is done and the consignment exits EFC after the Trico counter issues a blue color exit gate pass. If any discrepancy is found, the container is detained and investigations are initiated according to the instructions given by DDC (EFC).

BOI Consignments

These consignments are entered into the EFC same as non BOI consignments. The documents are directly perused at acknowledgement counter by the ASC. After acknowledging containers would be allowed to proceed to the respective terminal.

Pre Examined Cargo

These FCLs are part container consignments or consisted of many LCLs which are loaded at Customs bonds or consolidated at several container freight stations (CFS) or at exporter’s premises. Here CusDec is warranted online by the SC of the respective directorate through which the CusDec is lodged at. Consignment may or may not be loaded under customs supervision, according to the instructions given by warranting SC. SC warranting could state the conditions pertaining to the consignment in the inspection act of the Asycuda system.

UPB (Unaccompanied Personal Baggage) containers

When the UPB is loaded to the container, outward personal baggage declaration should be submitted to the Baggage Office.

Assistant Charges Officer appointed by SC (Baggage) conducts examination at the exporter’s premises.

After the examination, customs seal and agent seal are affixed by the Customs officer and the wharf representative.

Export CusDec is processed at EFC pertaining to the consignment.

CusDec is warranted online by the SC (EFC) exempting the examination and state as “seal to be checked” in the inspection act.

Wharf representative submits the e-CDN and normal procedure applies when the container arrives to the EFC.     

Entrepôt Consignments

Entrepôt CusDecs are warranted at Bonding Directorate. SC Bonding warrants the CusDec and remark the consignment for panel examination or exempt the container at his discretion.

Container doesn’t present physically at EFC, but only for the purpose of acknowledging wharf representative lodge the e-CDN and step in to the EFC and gets the approval on a separate book at EFC. Approval is given by the SC EFC by perusing the CusDec and supporting documents. SC EFC could search the inspection act in the ASYCUDA system and inspect it for special comments or instructions given by the Bonding Directorate to be followed. If nothing special is mentioned SC Exports on duty approves the CusDec for acknowledging and for boat note passing. This approval is used as the gate pass to obtain the acknowledgement and for the purpose of boat note passing.

Shipping note/Boat note passing

After all the containers of a CusDec arrive to the port premises, passing of the shipping note/boat note is allowed. 

After scrutinizing all the documents along with relevant approvals from respective government agencies, boat note officer signs the relevant Boat note and CDN copies, and in the meantime release the export from the ASYCUDA system if all are intact.

Signed boat notes and the CDNs, are handed over to the IC at boat note office.

IC at boat note enters the details of the CDNs in a separate book and separate boat notes and CDN into the three terminals CICT, SAGT and JCT as sets. TRICO front counter takes these sets as batches and enters the details in the TRICO system and send a mail to the terminal acknowledging the terminal that Customs has permitted the loading to the vessel. 

Boat note passing for Entrepot, Rework consignments and MCC consignments is done after the approval of the SC. Since the container doesn’t appear physically inside the EFC for these types of consignments SC’s approval is taken into the consideration by the ASC Boat note as an authentication.

Export of cargo by air is handled by Air Cargo Export Office which operates under Deputy Director (Exports) located at the Air Cargo Village, Katunayake.

Export CusDecs in respect of shipments by air can be processed at the following offices.

  • Export Office(Colombo) – CBEX1
  • Export Office (Katunayake) – KTEX1
  • INFAC Centre
  • Industries and Services Division
  • BOI (Head Office & Units)
  • Exports Office at Sri Lankan Air Cargo at the Duplication Road in Colombo 3.

CusDecs, in respect of perishable cargo such as vegetables, fruits and live fish are processed at Air Cargo Export Office. All courier cargo received after normal working hours for which processing of CusDecs are necessary, shall be processed at this office. CusDecs in respect of Sri Lankan Air cargo, courier bags and Trade Samples are also processed at this office.

Air Cargo CusDecs except CusDecs processed at Sri Lankan Cargo office must be;

  • Updated with the payments made to the Shroff.
  • Superintendent of Customs shall warrant all CusDecs processed at this office.
  • Examine the goods and allow for shipment.
  • Export release the CusDec in the ASyCuDa System.

Sri Lanka Cargo

This unit is operated at Sri Lankan Cargo Office at Duplication Road at Bambalapitiya for the convenience of exports of small airfreight shipments of generally less than 100 kg.

Assistant Superintendent attached to this office accepts goods such as samples/ locally produced/manufactured goods, which do not, required licenses/permits. He shall examine the goods to ensure that no violation of Customs or other related laws in regard to these goods.          

Finally, he shall seal the packages with Customs seal and hand them over to the Sri Lankan Cargo representative to be transported to the Air Cargo Terminal for shipment.   

  • All CusDecs submitted by Sri Lankan Air lines and CusDecs processed at Bambalapitiya office are registered at the Air cargo export office.
  • When the CusDecs are assessed, charges are debited automatically.

Ship's TS manifest registration (Inward) & Approval of Reshipment applications for FCL (Outward)

Manifests in respect of transshipment cargo should be handed over to the “D” Branch by the respective Shipping Lines. ASC “D” Branch who is attending the subject of Port Dues acknowledges the receipt of transshipment manifest by signing the manifest and handing over the same to the shipping agent keeping a copy of the manifest with him. The shipping agents should register the aforesaid signed manifest in the Transshipment Office with respect to the unloading terminal of the cargo (JCT/SAGT/CICT/Hambanthota).

When Customs “D” Branch is closed (For weekends and public holidays) Shipping agents should produce TS manifests to the Transshipment Office and register same in the deposit applications register.

At the time of re-shipping, re-shipment application should be produced to the Transshipment Office where all details shall be entered in the outward register which reference number should be entered on the application. Re-shipment application should contain the container numbers, the name of incoming vessel and the name of outgoing vessel, voyage number etc.

Re-shipment application approved by the ASC should be produced to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority or respective terminal to effect the shipment.

Multi Country Cargo Consolidation inside the port (De-stuffing and Stuffing)

De-stuffing

Shipping agents should make an application to the Transshipment Office for de-stuffing the TS cargo containers into the warehouse for MCC operations.

Stuffing – Registration and Approval

Applications for stuffing of MCC cargo should be forwarded to the Transshipment office for registration. Such registered applications should be allowed by the DDC (Export) subject to under Panel examination or under Customs supervision.  Stuffing of MCC cargo into the containers should be carried out at the TS warehouse presently located at the Bandaranaike Quay.  

Stuffing - Full Transshipment Cargo

After obtaining approval for MCC operation, Stuffing of MCC cargo into the empty containers should be carried out under Customs supervision.

Once the process of stuffing is completed, containers should be sealed by the Inspectors of Customs and relevant container numbers and the seal numbers should be entered in the applications.

Thereafter, agent should prepare the shipping notes for the relevant applications. The ASC at the transshipment warehouse will certify the shipping notes having checked the endorsements of the IC who attended the under supervision duty.

Stuffing - Local Cargo + Transshipment Cargo

Sealed containers which are loaded with local export cargo partially, received along with the Cargo Dispatched Notes from the Container Freight Stations. ASC on duty at the transshipment warehouse will check the seal number against the relevant Cargo Dispatched Note and allow to open the container for stuffing MCC cargo.

Once the process of stuffing is completed, containers should be sealed in the presence of ASC and relevant container numbers and the seal numbers should be filled in the panel application form. Thereafter, agent should prepare the shipping notes for the relevant container. The ASC at the transshipment warehouse will certify the shipping notes having checked the endorsements of the panel applications.

Re-work and Door Opening

All kinds of re-working and door openings of Transshipment containers should be registered in the Transshipment Office and forwarded for approval of DDC (Export) subject to Customs panel examination.

In any event reworking process needs to be carried out outside the port, the requesting party should prove that reworking process cannot be performed in the port premises. Such applications also should be made to the Transshipment Office for registration.

Transfer of Ship Spares or Ship Stores

Application along with the cargo movement control form for transferring ship spares or ship stores to or from any port should be registered in the Transshipment Office and produced to DDC (Export) for approval, subject to under Customs supervision.

Assistant Charges Officer No.1 of Baggage office will appoint IC 1 for under supervision applications.

Sea to Air & Air to Sea Transfers

Application along with the cargo movement control form for transferring cargo from sea freight to air freight or vice versa should be registered in the Transshipment Office and produced to DDC (Export) for approval, subject to under Customs supervision.

Assistant Charges Officer No.1 of Baggage office appoints ICC 1 for under supervision applications.

Cargo movement form along with supporting documents should be produced to the Transshipment Office by the ICC who attended for the under supervision duty for completing the job appointed.

A Container Freight Station (CFS) is a distribution facility where import and export shipments are consolidated and de-consolidated. The main functions of Export related CSFs are, consolidation of cargo into containers and transferring them to port of Colombo for export.

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

  1. Expo Lanka Freight
  2. Global Transportation and Logistics (pvt) Ltd.
  3. Colombo Logistics (Pvt) Ltd
  4. ACE Containers (Pvt) Ltd
  5. Logilink pvt Ltd.
  6. Logistic Park (Pvt) Ltd
  7. John Keells Logistics (Pvt) Ltd

Cargo is transported to these CFSs by the exporters with duly processed export documents along with the security copy of the CusDec and the CDNs.

Stuffing of the Local Export Cargo

  • CFS will receive “Cargo stuffing plan” from the shipping line/consolidator.
  • Stuffing will be done according to the said “cargo stuffing plan:” under Customs supervision.
  • The CFS will prepare CDN for each container and attach the tally sheet and the security copy of the CusDec.
  • Once satisfied the ASC shall handover duly endorsed documents to the officer-in-charge of CFS for removal of the container to the port for shipment.

Consolidation of Local Cargo

  • The staff of the CFS shall prepare CDN for each container and submit it to the ASC (CFS) for endorsement along with relevant security copies.

Stuffing and exporting of Bonded cargo along with local Cargo

  • Processed re-bond CusDec at Colombo Bonds Division or BOI Office or any other relevant Office shall be submitted to the ASC of the relevant Container Freight Station. On satisfaction the ASC will allow the cargo for stuffing into container for re-export.
  • In the same manner, stuffing of local cargo will be allowed based on the duly processed export CusDec at the Export Office.

On completion of stuffing of cargo the security copies of the CusDecs (Bonds & Export) along with the Cargo Dispatch Notes (CDN) shall be submitted to the ASC at CFS. On satisfaction ASC (CFS) will make an appropriate endorsements on the reverse side of the Security copies and approve transfer of the container to the port for export.

Licenses/Approvals of Other Governmental Agencies

Licenses issued by Department of Imports and Exports Control

Export Control License is required for the following items.

  1. Chanks
  2. Timber, i.e. Wood (including logs and sawn timber) classified under H.S. Chapter 44 excluding coconut shell charcoal, household utensils of wood and rubber wood.
  3. Passenger motor vehicles first registered in Sri Lanka prior to 1.1.1945
  4. Ivory and ivory products
  5. Steel scrap

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

CommodityType of Approval/Authority
AntiquesArchaeological Certificate Archaeological Department
Timber & wooden articlesDepartment of Forest Conservation, Import and Export Control Department
TeaSri Lanka Tea Board
Quarantine or Veterinary CertificateAgriculture Department, Animal Production and Health
Export of registered vehiclesDe- Registration Certificate Commissioner of Motor Traffic, no objection letter for Export
Items under Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance.
(Plants and Animals)
Wildlife Conservation Department.
Items under Fisheries OrdinanceFisheries and Aquatic Resources Department
Items under Excise OrdinanceExcise Department
Raw or dried Ayurvedic medicine/substances(commercial nature)Department of Ayurveda
Fire-Arms, Ammunition and aircraftsMinistry of Defense.
Minerals HS headings in Chapter 25 and 26Geological Survey & Mines Bureau
MedicinesNational Medicines Regulatory Authority
Readymade GarmentsMinistry of Industry and Commerce
Coconuts and coconut allied productsCoconut Development Authority
Live AnimalsDepartment of Animal Production and Health
Gems and JewelleryNational Gem and Jewellery Authority

Contact Information

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

Telephone: General – +94 11 2143434

Extensions:

DC      - 7120

DDC    - 7122

CEO    - 7124

OIC     - 7125

Fax:  +94 11 2337077

Email: exp@customs.gov.lk