The edible bird nests of the trade come from the nests of five species of Swifts that inhabit Asia, and are thus collectively called Edible-nest Swifts. Sri Lanka has the Indian Swiftlet/Indian Edible-nest Swift (Collocalia unicolor) that makes a nest mainly from its saliva and is considered as one of these five whose nests are collected for the trade. Mostly these are smuggled out to china by Chinese passengers through the Airport.
Exportation of Edible bird nests is a violation of Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235) read with Fauna and Flora Protection ordinance. 5.9Kgs of edible bird nests were detected at Air Cargo Export Verification Terminal on 15.11.2016 while being attempted to smuggle out to Hong Kong with dried sea cucumber. The goods were declared by the company as dried sea cucumber/dry fish.