In the coming weeks, clearance procedures are going to Importers allow imported goods requiring supplier credit to be allowed with credit periods shorter than 180 days. The imported items will still require that the supplier provide credit for the item but the controls will be amended to allow for shorter credit cycles.
Department of Imports and Exports Control Controller General, Damayanthi Karunaratne noted that the economic fallout from COVID-19 necessitated the need for import controls but that these controls would be somewhat relaxed in the period ahead.
Rules for items needing supplier credit will be amended to allow for importation with credit periods shorter than 180 days. Other controls will also be loosened. Karunaratne was speaking at National Chamber recent webinar.
Certain widely imported items like freezer trucks, televisions, and auto spare parts are to have looser import controls. Items that have been put on the credit list but have been cleared on a payment basis can be cleared on the payment of a considerable fine under the discretion of the trade declarations committee.
Palm oil imports will be allowed through an importers license system on the advice of the Industries Minister and the BOI.
Raw materials for local manufacturing are allowed so long as there is local value addition of 35%.
New gazette notifications are going to be drafted to allow for certain foreign standards and certification to be recognized by the Sri Lanka Import and Export Department.
License fees of the Department of Import And Export Control which have not been revised for multiple years are to be revised upwards. No information on allowing the importation of tiles has been officially communicated to the department of import and export. Ceramic squatting pans and bathroom fittings will be allowed on a credit basis.
Customs Superintendent, Indunil Udaya said that there is soon going to be a scanning machine at the exports division to reduce the physical examination of containers.
“If there are suspicions on a particular container there will no longer be a need to open the container. Non-invasive examination procedures can be undertaken. We are going to minimize human intervention because of the pandemic situation.”
“Once you upload the documents online you can’t upload them again, even if there is a requirement to upload further documents for clarification, you then have to come to customs physically with the documentation.”
An import-control license has to be debited with customs to clear goods. There is no online system but on an ad-hoc basis, customs officers will accept documents remitted via Whatsapp.
Customs Superintendent C. P. G. Punchihewa said that Customs Declarations are now completely submitted online.
Importers who fail to submit all the requisite documentation will have to come physically and submit the additional documentation.