Passenger Services Directorate (Katunayake)

Customs offices in the passenger terminals of Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayaka function under the Passenger Services Directorate of Sri Lanka Customs. Main focus of this Division is facilitating the movement of passengers and passenger baggage and effectively enforcing the Customs Law and other related Laws at the border in order to protect state revenue and to safeguard socio-economic, cultural and ecological interests of the country.

  • About Us
  • Inward
  • Outward
  • Contacts

Objectives

  • Facilitation of passengers and baggage clearance for legitimate purpose.
  • Controlling and prevention of restricted and prohibited goods through the border.
  • Safeguarding socio-economic, cultural and ecological interests of the country.
  • Protecting state revenue.

Functions

  • Facilitating the movements of inward and outward ‘bona-fide’ passengers and their baggage.
  • Facilitating the movement of transit passengers and their baggage.
  • Facilitating of movements of VVIP, VIP, Silk Route and CIP passengers.
  • The processing of crew and aircrafts arriving into and departing from Sri Lanka.
  • Issuing of clearance to the outgoing air crafts.
  • Examination of accompanied baggage if required.
  • Granting duty free baggage allowance on passenger baggage.
  • Collecting of duty and other levies from the baggage containing goods in commercial quantity and commercial nature.
  • Releasing of goods on ATA Carnet, guarantees and special deposits, etc. and taking necessary follow up actions.
  • Processing of inward and outward gem parcels.
  • Online submission of foreign currency declarations made by inward and outward passengers, and issuance of official recipt
  • Endorsing remaining baggage allowance on Power of Attorney enabling authorized persons to clear unaccompanied baggage after the departure of the passenger.
  • Clearance of mishandled baggage.
  • Clearance of diplomatic baggage.
  • Conducting an examination of person if required.
  • Preventing of importation and exportation of restricted and prohibited goods.
  • Conducting investigations and inquiries in case of detection of Customs offences.
  • Producing suspects to Courts, and taking appropriate actions to recover penalties and further forfeitures through Court proceedings if necessary.
  • Facilitating the disposal of unclaimed goods under Customs supervision.
  • Supervise the destruction of goods detained by Agriculture Department at BIA under Customs supervision.
  • Securing and disposal of forfeited or detained goods.
  • Disposing of forfeited items, accounting of penalties and further forfeitures in terms of the provisions in Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235).
  • Facilitating for Tourists VAT Refund Scheme (TVRS) by making endorsement on TVRS invoices in this regard.
  • Maintaining good coordination with other agencies functioning in the Airport.

  • Types of
    Passengers
  • Passenger
    Baggage
  • Processing of
    Passengers
    and Baggage
  • Passenger
    Baggage
    Allowance
  • Declaration
    of Currency
  • Personal
    Jewelry
  • Animals and
    Plants
  • Prohibited and
    Restricted Items
  • ATA Carnet
  • Hand Carried
    Gem Parcels
  • Residents

Sri Lankan Passport holders who are ordinarily residents in Sri Lanka.

  • Tourists

“Tourist” is a person who enters Sri Lanka and remains therein for a period of not less than 24 hours and not more than 6 months during any period of twelve months for any legitimate non-immigrant purpose, such as touring, recreation, sports, health, family reasons, study, religious, pilgrimage or business.

  • Foreign Passport Holders with Resident Visa

Foreigners who visit Sri Lanka on various assignments for the government or the private sector with resident visas. Once resident visa is granted, their passports are endorsed by the Immigration Department to that effect. A resident visa holder is entitled to Passengers' Baggage allowance to the maximum value as available for a Sri Lankan resident returning from abroad (“C” category allowance), on his first arrival in Sri Lanka.

If such a passenger arrives pending issue of Resident visa, he may get the concession of removal of his baggage containing dutiable goods on a cash deposit or rendering a bank guarantee to secure the duties and other levies involved. After obtaining a Resident Visa, he will get his full allowance and the deposit be refunded or Bank Guarantee be released.

  • Diplomatic Passport Holders (Foreign)

Personnel in the Diplomatic Service in Sri Lanka representing the governments of any foreign states, (by whatever name, title or designation they are called) or the Trade Commissioner in Sri Lanka of any such government, persons on the staff of any such representative, representatives of the United Nations and its agencies and such international organizations, institutes and bodies as approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • Officials of the Sri Lankan Missions Overseas

Sri Lankan Passport holders who works in various capacities in Sri Lankan Missions Overseas. The Baggage Regulations applicable to ordinary Sri Lankan passport holders apply to this category of passengers as well.
However, on completion of their assignment and being transferred to Sri Lanka, they are entitled for duty free clearance of certain items in their unaccompanied baggage. The Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs will issue a letter specifying the articles for which duty free clearance is granted, addressed to the Director General of Customs when such officers are transferred to Sri Lanka on completion of their assignments overseas.

  • Minors

A person under 18 years of age.

  • Transit Passengers

Passengers who arrive in Sri Lanka for a period of stay under 24 hours. They possess out bound tickets and await at transit lounge until boarding to another airline/aircraft. Their baggage are held by airline for transfer and tagged accordingly.
In the event of there being a considerable period of time between arrival and transfer, relevant air line makes arrangements to take passengers to a nearby hotel. These type of transit passengers should go through immigration and Customs formalities.

  • Crew Members

(a) Crew Members (Foreign Passport Holders)

Crew members holding foreign passports who return after a flight or voyage shall not be entitled to any duty exemption. However, foreign crew members, both airlines and ships, are given the concession of one liter of spirits free of duty provided they are going to stay a few days in Sri Lanka. Their baggage is subjected to Customs examination and taxation.

(b) Airline Crew Members (Sri Lankan Passport Holders)

Air Crew members holding Sri Lankan passports who return after a flight shall not be entitled to any duty exemptions. Their baggage is subjected to Customs examination and taxation.

(c) Ship Crew Members (Sri Lankan Passport Holders)

Ship Crew members holding Sri Lankan passports are entitled for baggage allowance as for the baggage entitlement of normal Sri Lankan passport holders.

  • Dual Citizenship Holders

Dual citizenship holding passengers are treated as normal residential passengers. If they want to claim any duty free baggage allowances, they have to produce passports of both countries to the Customs. In addition to that Sri Lankan passport should have been used at each departure and arrival points to determine the period of stay abroad.

  • VIP

Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs the arrival or departure of passport holders with VIP facilities well in advance to make suitable arrangements for their smooth passage through the Airport. Customs at the Airport appoints officers round the clock to attend these VIPs.

  • CIP (Silk route)

Passengers who need special facilities to expedite their clearance at their arrival, can utilize CIP Channel (Commercially Important Persons / Silk Route Facility). CIP Channel is a special exit gate where Customs Officers are present there to facilitate speedy clearance. In order to get CIP facility, they have to pay a particular charge to Airport Aviation Services of Sri Lanka Ltd (AASL). Their baggage are also subjected to Customs examination and taxation.

  • What is a Passenger Baggage ?
    • Resident Passenger Baggage:

In the Case of a passenger, who is ordinarily resident in Sri Lanka (and is not a tourist) goods which such person brings accompanied or unaccompanied or purchases at any approved Duty Free Shop upon arrival in Sri Lanka subject to the conditions specified hereinafter:-

    1. that such goods are bona fide for his personal use or the use of a member or members of his family provided that the total quantity brought or purchased in respect of any single item is not a commercial quantity as determined by the Director General of Customs;
    2. that such goods are brought by a passenger on his arrival in Sri Lanka or are landed within 30 days before or within 90 days after his arrival or within such further period as the Director General of Customs, may in the circumstances of each case, determine, or are purchased from an approved Duty Free Shop upon his arrival or are brought within 90 days of the First issue of a Resident Visa.
    3. that such goods will not include the following:-
      1. Goods imported or purchased at any Duty Free Shop for purpose of sale or exchange;
      2. Goods which are the property of any person other than the passenger;
      3. Motor vehicle other than Motor cycles, Motor scooters and auto cycles with an engine capacity of 350cc or below and if such vehicle had been used the first registration should not have earlier than three years from the date of shipment;
      4. Goods to be given as gifts to any person other than a member of his family.
    • Tourist Passenger Baggage :

In the case of a passenger who is a tourist, the personal effects which such person wears or brings with him on his arrival in Sri Lanka for his personal use but does not include goods which are:-

    1. in commercial quantities as determined by the Director General of Customs; or
    2. imported for purposes of sale or exchange; or
    3. the property of any person other than the passenger or a member of his family travelling with him; or
    4. to be given as a gift to any other person:
  • Types of Passenger Baggage

Accompanied and unaccompanied are mainly two types of baggage. accompanied and unaccompanied.

    • Accompanied Passenger Baggage - Accompanied baggage is the baggage a passenger brings along with him/her.
    • Unaccompanied Passenger Baggage -Unaccompanied baggage is the baggage which could not be brought by the passenger with him but it is brought by an aircraft or by ship. It should be landed within 30 days prior to the arrival of the passenger or within 90 days after the arrival of the passenger.
  • Passenger Processing Procedure.

After going through the immigration formalities and completing duty free purchases passengers move to the baggage reclaim area, gather their bags and proceed to the Customs area and exit channels.

At the Customs, the law generally requires that every passenger entering Sri Lanka shall,

    • Produce their passports.
    • Declare his baggage in the prescribed form (Customs 205).
    • Produce his baggage for examination by an Officer of Customs.

The passengers to make his exit, they can select either through Green Channel or Red Channel. This is to be done depending on the goods they possess.

  • Passenger Baggage Declaration

Arriving passengers those who have goods in their possession to declare to the Customs, should fill a Passenger Baggage Declaration - Inward Form (Customs 205) and submit it to the Customs.

False or non declaration is an offence and may involve heavy penalties including forfeiture in terms of the Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235).

  • Green Channel

All incoming passengers, those who have nothing to declare to Customs may go through the Green Channel, the starting point of which is marked by a green colour illuminated sign board. Passengers who choose the Green Channel are not normally required to tender a written declaration. Walking into the Green Channel by a passenger is deemed to be equivalent to making a formal declaration as to that he has nothing to declare to the Customs.

Any Green Channel walking passengers may be subjected to Customs examination. In case of detection of any duty payable items, contraband, restricted or prohibited items, necessary punitive actions would be taken in terms of the provisions of Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235).

  • Red Channel

Passengers those who have goods in their possession to declare to the Customs, should proceed to the Red Channel, the entrance of which is marked by a sign board with illuminated red lettering and tender a perfected Passengers Baggage Declaration - Inward (Form Customs 205) to the Customs Officer on duty. The passenger and his / her goods are strictly subjected to customs examination.

    1. If the passenger possesses any goods which are permissible to clear them under passenger baggage duty free allowance, those goods are released under the allowance and the officer marks the passport accordingly.
    2. if the passenger possesses the goods which are not permissible to clear them under passenger baggage duty free allowance, but still the goods are not in commercial quantity, the passenger is charged duty and other levies for those goods and on making the payment the goods can be cleared.
    3. if the passenger possesses the goods which are permissible under passenger baggage duty free allowance (as above 1) and goods which are not permissible under duty free allowance (as above 2), the goods in type 01 are released under the allowance and the goods in type 02 are released on payment of duty and other levies.
    4. if the passenger possesses the goods in commercial quantity, in the opinion of Director General of Customs, the passenger is charged duty and other levies plus the penalty for those goods and on making the payment the goods can be cleared.

The penalty amount is calculated as follows:

      1. if the value of the goods is less than LKR 200, 000/= the penalty amount would be 20% of the value.
      2. if the value of the goods is between LKR 200,001 and LKR 300, 000/= the penalty amount would be 30% of the value.
      3. if the value of the goods is more than LKR 300,001/= the penalty amount would be 50% of the value.
    1. The payment could be made at the Customs Shroff Counter situated at BIA arrival terminal. The payment should be made by Sri Lankan currency only. No credit cards, cheques or foreign currency payments are allowed.
    2. All the goods must be free tradable goods, and in case of detection of any contraband, restricted or prohibited items, necessary punitive actions would be taken in terms of the provisions of Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235).
  • Goods Brought in Commercial Quantities / Commercial Nature

If passengers bring free tradable goods in commercial quantities / commercial nature in their accompanied baggage they should proceed to the Customs Red Channel and should submit a duly filled Passenger Baggage Declaration - Inward (Form Customs 205) to the Customs. Upon the receipt of such declaration, the Officer will examine the baggage and calculates duty and other levies and penalties applicable to the goods. On payment of such amount to the Customs Shroff, the goods would be released to the passenger (subject to restrictions).

  • Gift Items

Passenger carries someone else's goods or declares some items as gifts, all those items are subjected to Customs taxation.

  • Diplomatic Baggage

Baggage which are brought (accompanied and unaccompanied) by Diplomatic passport holders are identified as Diplomatic Baggage.

Diplomatic baggage are entitled to clear free of duty under section 19(1) of the Customs Ordinance on production of a Duty Free Clearance Certificate issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and on duly authorization and certification by a Director of Customs. The baggage of Diplomatic personnel are not normally examined. If there is a valid reason for examination of DPL baggage or cargo, prior permission should be obtained from the Director General of Customs.

  • Clearance of Mishandled Baggage

When the baggage of a passenger has not arrived in the same flight that the passenger arrived, then the passenger should complain to the Mishandled Baggage Section of Sri Lankan Airlines at BIA Arrival Terminal. After baggage is traced by the airline staff, it is kept with the Sri Lankan Airlines Mishandled Baggage Section and the passenger would be notified.

On receipt of the notification, the passenger or authorized representative calls over at the Security Division of the Airport and will be issued a pass to enter into Customs area.

The passenger or representative collects the mishandled baggage from the Mishandled Baggage Section of Sri Lankan Air Lines at BIA Arrival Terminal. Then he produces the baggage along with duly perfected customs passenger declaration to Customs. Then Customs would follow the normal baggage clearance procedure and grants clearance.

If anything found potentially incriminating nature, the owner of the baggage is responsible for and he himself should be present to the Customs and until such time the baggage will be kept under Customs detention.

  • Personal Search of Passengers

In terms of Section 107 and 138 of the Customs Ordinance, it should be lawful for any officer of Customs to search any person who shall have landed from any ship or air craft provided such officer shall have good reason to suppose that such person shall have any uncustomed, restrictive or prohibited goods secreted about his person.

  • What is the Passenger Baggage Allowance

The value of goods for which duty and other levis are exempted for Sri Lankan passengers arriving from abroad based on their period of staying.

  • The Baggage Allowance and Categories
CategoryPeriod of Staying AbroadValue of Goods Brought from AbroadValue of Goods Purchased from Duty Free Shops on Arrival at BIA
Adult (18 years old and more than 18 years old)ALess than 90 daysUS$ 125.00US$ 187.50
BFrom 90 days to less than 365 daysUS$ 500.00US$ 625.00
C365 days and overUS$ 1,000.00US$ 1750.00
Minor (Less than 18 years old)D(i)Less than 90 daysUS$ 87.50US$ 125.00
D(ii)More than 90 daysUS$ 187.50US$ 187.50

List of Permissible and Restricted Articles

  • Purchasing of Duty Free Goods at the Duty Free Shops

Passengers who wish to buy duty free goods of which the value is more than US$ 100 shall get the allowance and currency available with them marked in passenger declaration form by the Customs before proceed to the Duty Free Shops for purchasing.

Such purchases should be made on arrival and before coming to Customs checking counters. No passenger is allowed to purchase goods from the Duty Free Shops after his/her leaving the Customs exit gate.

  • Passenger’s Baggage Duty Exemptions – Tourists
    • Personal clothing and other essentials;
    • Two regular-size bottles of wine and one and a half liters of spirits;
    • Toilet water not exceeding a quarter litre and a small quantity of perfume;
    • Travel souvenirs, value of which is not exceeding US $ 250 and not meant for commercial purpose.
  • Passenger Baggage Duty Exemption for Liquor - Sri Lankans/Residents

Alcoholic Liquor not exceeding two and a half litres, wine not exceeding two litres and perfumed sprites not exceeding quarter litres.

Note: This concession is granted only for adult passengers.

  • Passengers’ Baggage Duty Exemptions – Sri Lankans/Residents

The baggage allowance for the purpose of exemption from Customs duty are as follows.

Please see the List of Permissible and Restricted Articles.

Note 01: Only selected goods in certain quantities are permitted under the above mentioned Baggage Allowance.

Any Passenger May Take Out of Sri Lanka :

  • Sri Lanka currency up to the value of Sri Lanka Rupees 20,000.
  • Any amount of foreign exchange in the form of currency notes, bank drafts, cheques, travel cards, etc. legitimately acquired by such person subject to a declaration made to the Customs Department at the port of departure, if the total value of such foreign exchange exceeds United State Dollars 15,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies.
  • However, where a person departing from Sri Lanka carries foreign currency notes exceeding United States Dollars 10,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies, such person is required to make a declaration to the Customs Department.

Any Passenger May Bring into Sri Lanka :

  • Sri Lanka currency up to the value of Sri Lanka Rupees 20,000.
  • Any amount of foreign exchange in the form of currency notes, bank drafts, cheques, travel cards, etc. legitimately acquired by such person subject to a declaration made to the Customs Department at the port of arrival, if the total value of such foreign exchange exceeds United State Dollars 15,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies.
  • However, where a person arriving in Sri Lanka intends to take back foreign currency notes exceeding United States Dollars 10,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies, such person is required to make a declaration to the Customs Department.

Please refer "SCHEDULE I - PART I - PURPOSES, LIMITS, TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR IMPORT AND EXPORT OF FOREIGNCURRENCY OR SRI LANKA CURRENCY" of Extraordinary Gazette No. 2045/56 of NOVEMBER 17, 2017

Articles of Jewelry means any small objects of personal adornment made of precious metal. (Eg : Gold Rings, Gold Bangles, Gold Necklaces etc).

  • Bona fide personal worn jewelry as determined by the Director General of Customs is not subject to Customs taxation.
  • All jewelry other than the bona fide personal worn jewelry should be declared to Customs on arrival by the passenger and it can be cleared on payment of applicable Customs Duty and other leviesand penalties(if applicable).
  • Gold in any form and gold articles (other than bona fide personal jewelry) in any quantity should be declared to the Customs and can be cleared on payment of applicable Customs Duty and other levies and penalties(if applicable).
  • Live Animals

No person shall bring into Sri Lanka any mammals*, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish or invertebrates whether dead or alive without prior approval** from the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka.

* This does not apply to any domestic animals (Cats, Dogs).

**Requires Health Certificate from country of origin.

In case of bringing domestic animals such as cats and dogs, the passenger is required to submit a Customs declaration on arrival and upon the receipt of it, the Customs officer after making necessary endorsements in the declaration directs the passenger to the Animal Quarantine Office at BIA Arrival Terminal for their inspection and approval for Customs clearance. At this stage passenger should produce documents such as Health Certificate from the country of origin to the Quarantine Officials. After obtaining the quarantine approval, the animal can be cleared from the Customs on payment of applicable Customs Duty and other levies.

Note 01 : The passenger cannot clear such animals without obtaining relevant approval from the quarantine authority.

Note 02 : Importations of fish are regulated by the Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources and by CITES.

  • Animal Parts

No person shall bring into Sri Lanka any animal parts such as sea shells, animal skins/hides, shells, fibers, horns, nails, bones, teeth, scales, feathers, eggs etc. without prior approval and permits from the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka

All domestic animal products unprocessed or semi are subjected to animal quarantine formalities

  • Live Plants, Parts of Plants and Plant products

Importation of plants and planting materials are regulated by the extraordinary gazette notification No: 165/2 of 02.11.1981 & Plant Protection Act No. 35 of 1999.

Any planting material containing soil is prohibited to import into the country.

It is required to obtain Phytosanitary certificates from the country of export for non-prohibited planting material.

In case of bringing live plants, parts of plants and plant products, it is required to submit a Customs declaration on arrival and upon the receipt of it, the Customs Officer after making necessary endorsements in the declaration directs the passenger to the Plant Quarantine Office at BIA Arrival Terminal for their inspection and approval for Customs clearance. At this stage passenger should produce documents such as Phytosanitary Certificate and license to the Plant Quarantine Officials. After obtaining the quarantine approval, the items can be cleared from the Customs on payment of applicable Customs Duty and other levies.

  • Fruits & Vegetables

Importation of Fruits & Vegetables are regulated by extraordinary gazette notification No: 165/2 of 02.11.1981 & Plant Protection Act No. 35 of 1999.

It is required to obtain Phytosanitary certificates from the country of exports for non-prohibited fruits & vegetables.

All fruits/vegetables are subjected to plant quarantine approval, if not goods will be detained.

In case of bringing fruits and vegetables, it is required to submit a Customs declaration on arrival and upon the receipt of it, the Customs Officer after making necessary endorsements in the declaration directs the passenger to the Plant Quarantine Office at BIA Arrival Terminal for their inspection and approval for Customs clearance. At this stage passenger should produce documents such as Phytosanitary Certificate and license to the Plant Quarantine Officials. After obtaining the quarantine approval, the items can be cleared from the Customs on payment of applicable Customs Duty and other levies.

  • Contacts

Biodiversity, Cultural & National Heritage Protection Branch
Sri Lanka Customs
No. 40, Main Street, Colombo 11, Sri Lanka.
Tel: +94112221312 / +94112472179
Fax: +94112472179
E mail: bpuslcustoms@gmail.com
bpu@customs.gov.lk

Other Relevant Authorities

Department of Wildlife Conservation Website : www.dwc.gov.lk

Department of Agriculture Website : www.doa.gov.lk

Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources: Website : www.fisheriesdept.gov.lk

Geological Survey and Mines Bureau: Website : www.gsmb.gov.lk

Department of Archaeology: Website : www.archaelogy.gov.lk

Department of Animal Production &: Health Website : www.daph.gov.lk

  • Prohibited Items In Passenger Baggage
    • Narcotics, Psychotropic Substances and Hazardous Chemical Substances
    • Weapons, Armaments and Ammunition
    • Explosives
    • Pornographic Materials
    • Religious Derogatory Materials
    • Cigarettes
    • Any other articles the importation of which are prohibited by any enactment or any legal order now in force or hereafter to be enacted, or any rules, regulations, notifications, proclamations or orders made or issued thereunder.
  • Restricted Items in Passenger Baggage
    • Plants and parts of plants
    • Live animals and parts of animals.
    • Drones
    • Communication equipment and transmission apparatus
    • Medicines, medical devices and cosmetic items. (other than for personal use)
    • Any other articles the importation of which are restricted by any enactment or any legal order now in force or hereafter to be enacted, or any rules, regulations, notifications, proclamations or orders made or issued thereunder except in accordance with such enactment, rules, regulations, notifications, proclamations, or orders.

The ATA Carnet is an international Customs document that permits duty-free and tax-free temporary import of goods for up to one year. The initials “ATA” are an acronym of the combination of French and English words “Admission Temporaire / Temporary Admission.

If anybody intend to import or export something on temporary basis for exhibition or similar reasons, it can be imported and exported under ATA Carnet System.

Under ATA Carnet System, Sri Lanka Customs permits the temporary importation of items such as,

  • Scientific Instruments
  • Pedagogic material
  • Professional equipments
  • Articles / Equipments for exhibition purpose
  • Samples and advertising materials
  • Vehicles

International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ICCSL) which is affiliated to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has the sole authority to issue ATA Carnets in Sri Lanka.

ATA Carnets do not cover perishables or consumable items or goods for processing or repair. For more information and required forms visit https://iccsrilanka.com/ata-carnet/

Important things about A.T.A. Carnet

  1. It is not required a Bank Guarantee or any other forms of security to cover import taxes.
  2. Up to one year duration is permitted.
  3. If required, the goods can be disposed locally on payments of applicable taxes.
  4. If the items are supposed to use in Sri Lanka relevant taxes should be paid.
  5. Extension of validity period is possible with the approval of the Customs.
  6. Letter of authority from the Carnet holder for local representative is adequate to transact with the Customs.
  7. A local representative can act on behalf of the Carnet holder. A forwarding company or local agent of the shipper is also acceptable. A letter of authority from the Carnet holder should accompany the documents.
  8. A Customs Declaration (Cusdec) is not required for items imported under ATA Carnet.

Customs clearance for goods brought under Carnet at BIA

The arriving passenger should submit duly filled Carnet Certificate with the goods to Customs Duty Officer at Arrival Terminal of BIA. The Duty Officer makes endorsement on the relevant pages of Carnet Certificate after examining the goods and will grant Customs clearance to the passenger.

  • Carnet Clearance

The passenger should hand over the gem parcel to Customs Duty Officer (Arrival). The Duty Officer will issue a Detention Notice to the Passenger and will secure the same in the Customs safe that would later be transferred to National Gem and Jewellary Authority (situated at Colombo 02 ) under Customs supervision. The passenger visit to NGJA and collect the gems on production of Garnet certificate.

  • Clearance On Payment of USD 200 At BIA (Arrival)

Hand carried gem parcels can be cleared by making a declaration of the Gem stones in possession to Customs Duty Officer (Arrival) and paying USD 200 (two hundred) per package to Customs Shroff at BIA.

  • Clearance at National Gem and Jewellery Authoriy (NGJA)

The passenger should hand over the gem parcel with duly filled passenger declaration form to Customs Duty Officer (Arrival). The Duty Officer will issue a Detention Notice to the Passenger and will secure the same in the Customs safe that would later be transferred to National Gem and Jewellary Authority (situated at Colombo 02) under Customs supervision. The passenger visits to NGJA and collect the gem parcel on payment of applicable duty and other levies after inspection by Customs Gem appraisers attached to Gem Unit at NGJA.

  • Passenger
    Baggage
  • Declaration
    of Currency
  • Animals and
    Plants
  • Prohibited and
    Restricted Items
  • ATA Carnet
  • Hand Carried
    Gem Parcels
  • Passenger Baggage

"Baggage" means in the case of any passenger leaving Sri Lanka the bona fide wearing apparel and personal effects belonging to and in the personal use of such passenger or members of his family departing from Sri Lanka with him and shall not include-

    1. any article, the exportation of which from Sri Lanka is prohibited under the Customs Ordinance or any other written law;
    2. any article, the exportation of which from Sri Lanka is restricted except under the authority of license, permit or other valid documents unless accompanied by such documents from the person who is authorized to issue such documents;
  • Processing of Passengers and Passenger Baggage

After being subjected to the formalities of security checking at the Departure Terminal of BIA, departing passengers move to the Customs area together with their bags. At the Customs, the law generally requires that every passenger departing from Sri Lanka shall

    • Produce their passports to Customs.
    • Declare the contents of his baggage in the prescribed Baggage Declaration – Outward Form (Customs 205A).
    • Produce his baggage for examination by Customs.

As a practice, such Declarations are normally not insisted from passengers leaving the country. When necessary an outward passenger may be required to perfect a Baggage Declaration Form and subject to Customs examination.

  • Passenger Baggage Declaration

Departing passengers those who have goods in their possession to declare to the Customs, should voluntarily fill a Passenger Baggage Declaration - Outward Form (Customs 205A) and submit it to the Customs.

False or non-declaration is an offence and may involve heavy penalties including forfeiture in terms of provisions in the Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235).

In case of any doubt, please consult a Customs Officer on duty.

  • Personal Search of Passengers

In terms of Section 107 and 138 of the Customs Ordinance, it shall be lawful for any officer of Customs to search any passenger who is leaving Sri Lanka provided such officer shall have good reason to suppose that such person shall have any uncustomed, restrictive or prohibited goods secreted about his person.

 

Any Passenger May Take Out of Sri Lanka :

  • Sri Lanka currency up to the value of Sri Lanka Rupees 20,000.
  • Any amount of foreign exchange in the form of currency notes, bank drafts, cheques, travel cards, etc. legitimately acquired by such person subject to a declaration made to the Customs Department at the port of departure, if the total value of such foreign exchange exceeds United State Dollars 15,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies.
  • However, where a person departing from Sri Lanka carries foreign currency notes exceeding United States Dollars 10,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies, such person is required to make a declaration to the Customs Department.

Any Passenger May Bring into Sri Lanka :

  • Sri Lanka currency up to the value of Sri Lanka Rupees 20,000.
  • Any amount of foreign exchange in the form of currency notes, bank drafts, cheques, travel cards, etc. legitimately acquired by such person subject to a declaration made to the Customs Department at the port of arrival, if the total value of such foreign exchange exceeds United State Dollars 15,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies.
  • However, where a person arriving in Sri Lanka intends to take back foreign currency notes exceeding United States Dollars 10,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies, such person is required to make a declaration to the Customs Department.

Please refer "SCHEDULE I - PART I - PURPOSES, LIMITS, TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR IMPORT AND EXPORT OF FOREIGNCURRENCY OR SRI LANKA CURRENCY" of Extraordinary Gazette No. 2045/56 of NOVEMBER 17, 2017

Animals, Plants, Antiques, Archives and Soil etc.

  • Live Animals/ Animal Parts / Animal products

No person shall take out following Live Animals/ Animal Parts / Animal products from Sri Lanka without prior approval from the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka,

    • Any live mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish or invertebrates etc,
    • Any non-domestic animal parts such as sea shells, animal hides, shells, horns, nails, bones, teeth, scales, feathers, eggs etc.
    • Any animal products such as bird nests etc.
    • Collections of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical, historical, archaeological, or ethnographical specimens with numismatic interest

*This does not apply to any domestic animals (Cats, Dogs)
Exportation of fish and Invertebrates (other than protected under FFPO: Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance) are regulated by Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Recourses

  • Live Plants/ Parts of Plants/ Plant products

All forest produce are subjected to obtain prior approval from Department of Forest Conservation.

Protected Plants

The plants listed under the Protected Plants list in FFPO: Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance are prohibited to be taken out of the country
Eg: Kothalahimbutu (Salacia reticulata)

  • Antiques & Archives

Antiques

Any item which is made before 1815 is considered as an Antique and it is prohibited to take them out from the country without prior approval from the department of archaeology.

Archives

Any document, public record, manuscript etc. which is over 50 years old and having historical or literary value cannot be taken out of the country without prior approval from the National Archives.

  • Rocks, Soils & Minerals

Any rock, soil or mineral cannot be taken out of the country without prior approval from the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, Sri Lanka

  • Contacts

Biodiversity, Cultural & National Heritage Protection Branch
Sri Lanka Customs,
No. 40, Main Street, Colombo 11, Sri Lanka.
Tel: +94112221312 / +94112472179
Fax: +94112472179
E mail: bpuslcustoms@gmail.com , bpu@customs.gov.lk

Other Relevant Authorities

Department of Wildlife Conservation Website : www.dwc.gov.lk
Department of Agriculture Website : www.doa.gov.lk
Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources: https://www.fisheriesdept.gov.lk
Geological Survey and Mines Bureau: https://www.gsmb.gov.lk
Department of Archaeology: http://www.archaelogy.gov.lk
Department of Animal Production &: Health http://www.daph.gov.lk

 

  • Prohibited Items In Passenger Baggage
    • Narcotics, Psychotropic Substances and Hazardous Chemical Substances
    • Weapons, Armaments and Ammunition
    • Explosives
    • Pornographic Materials
    • Religious Derogatory Materials
    • Any other articles the exportation of which are prohibited by any enactment or any legal order now in force or hereafter to be enacted, or any rules, regulations, notifications, proclamations or orders made or issued thereunder.
  • Restricted items in Passenger Baggage
    • Plants and parts of plants
    • Live animals and parts of animals.
    • Antiques and Archives
    • Rocks, Soils and Minerals
    • Communication equipment and transmission apparatus
    • Medicines, medical devices and cosmetic items. (other than for personal use)
    • Any other articles the exportation of which are restricted by any enactment or any legal order now in force or hereafter to be enacted, or any rules, regulations, notifications, proclamations or orders made or issued thereunder except in accordance with such enactment, rules, regulations, notifications, proclamations, or orders.

 

ATA Carnet

The departing passenger should bring duly filled Carnet Certificate with goods to Customs Duty Officer at Departure Terminal of BIA. The Duty Officer will make endorsement on the relevant pages of Carnet Certificate after examining the goods.

Gem Parcels Hand Carried by Departing Passengers

One of the modes of exportation of gemstones is hand carrying by businessmen in their personal baggage. Such gem exporter should submit his gemstones along with invoice to National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) (situated at Colombo 02) where the officers of Customs and NGJA examine the gems for the purpose of valuation. After the valuation gemstones are packed, sealed, transferred and deposited at office of the Customs Duty Officer at Departure Terminal of BIA. On the passenger's departure he could collect his gem parcel on submission of proof letter which he obtained from Customs Gem Unit functioning at NGJA. Then the passenger could carry the gem parcel with him in his departure.

No gemstones can be taken out from the country in hand carried luggage by passengers without following the above mentioned procedure.

Postal Address

Sri Lanka Customs,
Passenger Services Directorate,
Bandaranaike International Airport,
Katunayaka.

E-Mail: bia@customs.gov.lk

Fax: 0112265016

DesignationTelephone
Director of Customs0112252208 , 011252861 (Ext. 4450)
Deputy Director of Customs0112252086 , 011252861 (Ext. 4451)
Superintendent of Customs0112253633
Duty Officer (Arrival)0112252404 , 011252861 (Ext. 4458)
Duty Officer (Departure)0112252571 , 011252861 (Ext. 4452)