This article summarize the procedure of importing goods to Sri Lanka. New entrepreneurs who want to start a business which involve importing goods to Sri lanka will specially find this article useful. We have also included important information on how you can import personal belongings to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Customs is the regulatory body for all the Imports and Exports of the country. Before going into discuss about the procedure of importing goods, Let me give you an overview about import division of Sri Lanka custom department. Sri Lanka Customs has been introduced with an automation process which is currently been implemented deploying a more advanced version of ASICUDA World (Automated SYstem for CUstoms DAta). It will provide e-services with the support of service providers which lead to release of exports and imports more speedily thus will enable the Customs to move towards a paperless system. The Imports Division of the Sri Lanka Customs Department consists of three separate units namely Long Room, "D" branch and Postal Appraising unit according to the functions; headed by Director (Imports and Tariff) 1. Long Room The Long Room, being the Import Goods Declaration Processing Center for sea cargo which are subject to Customs duty and other levies, is the highest revenue collecting point in the Customs. With the implementation of ASYCUDA system the import document process was computerized and which eventually lead to minimize delays, errors and irregularities and provide efficient and effective service to the trading community. 2. Postal Appraising Unit Documentation and delivery of all mail cargo are processed in this office. There are separate counters for Air ,Sea, Packets and Express mail. Once the POD (Post Office Document issued by the Postal Department) is submitted the parcel/packet will be examined and appraised by the Customs staff in the presence of the recipient or a nominee and Customs duty and other levies will be collected by the Postal Department. 3. "D" Branch The "D" branch is the secretariat of the Imports Division and plays a vital role in the Department. This is the final authority for all the classification disputes, exchange and import control violations and all the documents related to these discrepancies are referred to "D"branch for final decision. Duty waivers, concessions and exemptions are registered and provisional CUSDECS and refunds documents are processed here. Registration of Customs house agents, investigations and inquires arising on matters related to the Imports are also conducted in the "D" branch. Responsibilities and Objectives of the Imports Divisions
- Collect correct Customs Duties and other levies such as Goods and Services Tax, national.Security Levy, Excise Duty etc on importation.
- Ascertain whether commodities are correctly classified and valued for collection of correct Customs duty and other levies and statistical purposes.
- Enforce Customs law and other related laws in the country.
- Facilitate the trade by providing effective and efficient service.
- Take suitable actions against the violators of the Customs Law and other related laws.
- Residence Visa/Blue Card
- Unaccompanied baggage declaration must be made at airport
- Inventory (valued)
- Customer must be present at time of Customs clearance.
- Sri Lanka Nationals & Expatriates may import household goods and personal effects duty-free provided they have been outside the country for a year or more
- Some Customs exemption granted with Residence Visa
- Shipments must arrive within three months of Customer
- Refundable Customs deposit payable on all shipments
Sandun joined Lanka Help Magazine as a contributor in June, 2011. He has been consistently writing articles to our magazine. Many useful articles of this site are under Sandun's name.
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