If you are an importer wishing to import commercial goods into Sri Lanka you should follow the procedures here: Importers Registration


Prohibited Goods

Before importing goods into Sri Lanka you should ensure that they do not fall into the category of prohibited goods. Prohibited goods cannot be imported, exported, transited, sold or circulated in Sri Lanka. Among prohibited goods are weapons, narcotics, psychotropic substances and hazardous chemical substances.  You should refer to the specific laws and regulations that cover these prohibitions. 

Click here to view the measure for prohibited goods.


Import License 

For certain types of products, it is necessary to obtain an import license from DIEC. If a product is not subject to licensing or to specific sanitary/phytosanitary or technical measures, you can proceed with the importation of the product by submitting a declaration directly to Customs.

Click here to view the procedure for applying for an import license.


Sanitary and Phytosanitary Requirements

If the goods you intend to import are subject to sanitary and phytosanitary measures you will have to comply with the special regulations relating to those products.  You can find out on this website which commodities are subject to these requirements by using the search facilities on the Commodity Search page.

Normally, you may need to get a permit from the Ministry specific department depending on what you are intending to import.  A detailed description of the procedures and documentation required can be found on the Procedures page of this website.



Technical Requirements 

For certain types of products, it may be necessary to obtain a permit that certifies that these products conform to certain technical standards.  These technical regulations are administered by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

You can find out on this website which commodities are subject to these requirements by using the search facilities on the Commodity Search page.  A detailed description of the procedures and documentation required can also be found on the Procedures page of this website.

Sri Lanka Trade Portal has established a TBT Enquiry Point as required by the WTO TBT Agreement.  You can contact the TBT Enquiry Point if you have any questions regarding technical standards. You can go to the Special Measures page for more information.


Import Declaration 

All goods imported into Sri Lanka must be declared and Customs import duty and other levies are payable on them unless they are covered by an exemption or a suspension.

A declaration is made by submitting a duly completed CusDec through ASYCUDA system & hard copies of the same should be submitted together with the following minimum documents,after payments of the relevant duty & other levies.:

  • A commercial invoice or contract of sale document from the supplier of the goods
  • Transport documents such as Bill of Lading or Air Way Bill
  • Packing List (if available)
  • Certificate of Origin.  This should have been supplied to you by the exporter.
  • Any import licenses or permits obtained from other ministries depending on the type of goods you are importing

Declarations can be submitted at regional Customs offices.  


Custom House Agents 

You may engage a Custom House Agent to carry out the import formalities on your behalf.  For information pertaining to custom house agents please click here


Classification and Value

Customs duty is payable on imported goods as a percentage of their declared value or a specific rate on the basis of unit or weight .(ad valorem),unit rate or composite rate(ad valorem or unit rate whichever is higher).  The rate of duty payable on goods imported into Sri Lanka varies according to the commodity and the country of origin.  

Commodities are classified using the 8-digit Harmonized System (HS) Code which is maintained and, from time to time, amended by the World Customs Organization (WCO). 

You can view the full Sri Lanka Tariff Classification and Tariff rates on this website with the Commodity Search facility.

It is your responsibility to declare the correct classification, origin, value and quantity of the goods you are importing.  If in doubt please seek advice from the Department of Customs.

The basis for the calculation of duties is the actual transaction value of the goods (as evidenced by the commercial invoice or other contracts of sale document).  If the value of the goods cannot established by this method Customs will attempt to establish the value of the goods using 5 more methods in line with Article 7 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947).


Payment of Duties

Once a declaration has been submitted and accepted by Customs, Importers will be required to pay the duties.  At the major border posts, you will be able to pay for duties at a bank nearby.  Present the receipt to Customs in order to receive your clearance. Cash is accepted only at the airport for the commercial goods accompanied.


Temporary Imports

Goods can be imported under the Temporary Imports regime under the following circumstances:

  • Goods necessary for the manufacture, processing, assembly, transformation or repair of items which will subsequently be re-exported (“inward processing”)
  •  Project Cargo for government approved projects, with the prior approval of Ministry of Finance & Mass Media, can be imported on re-export basis.
  • Machinery, tools, equipments etc. (except vehicles) for the use of projects can be imported by securing a bank guarantee to cover applicable import levies and clearance allowed on an under tacking given by the consignee to re-export the same on completion of the project. If the project comes under a particular ministry, a corporate guarantee given by the respective secretary to the ministry can fulfill the guarantee requirement.

 Goods imported under re-export basis can be facilitated for clearance on a bank guarantee to cover applicable import levies in following instances.

  1. For repair
  2. Goods intended to use for exhibition, educational & scientific purposes (ex. Molds for building, tools, machinery). All the applicable duties and other levies have to be paid for the rent/lease or usage (determined by Sri Lanka Customs) at the time of re-export.




Exemption from Customs duties and other obligations are available for diplomatic missions, for goods imported under a government investment promotion scheme or for certain economic zone and for other goods to be imported under certain circumstance. 

Please contact Customs to find out what is required to take advantage of these exemptions.

Personal belongings of passengers arriving in Sri Lanka are also exempt from Customs duties subject to allocated duty free allowance according to the period of stay abroad.

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