Govt. lifts import restrictions on over 300 products

Friday, 21 July 2023 00:36 –      – 209

President Ranil Wickremesinghe


  • Products include vehicle spares, tiles, medicinal goods, single-use plastic eased from last night
  • Sri Lanka Customs Director-General authorised to release any cargo or consignment arrived at any port from 16 April 2020 to 19 July 2023 at additional fee of 15% CIF value of consignment
  • Final decision on any matter related to regulations will rest with Controller General of Imports and Exports
  • Controller General of Imports and Exports will issue ‘Operational Instructions’ to Sri Lanka Customs Director-General, licensed banks

In a significant move to boost trade and ease supply chain constraints, the Government yesterday issued an extraordinary gazette notification No.2341/38 stipulating the lifting of import restrictions on 328 items, including vehicle spares, tiles, medical goods and single-use plastic, with effect from last night

The Gazette was issued by President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday, in his capacity as the Finance, Economic Stabilisation and National Policies Minister.

The decision to lift the import restrictions was also confirmed by State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya via Twitter yesterday.

The announcement comes as a welcome relief for businesses and consumers alike, as it aims to facilitate a more open and efficient import environment.

The Gazette extraordinary issued will formalise the lifting of import restrictions on the designated products. This move is expected to stimulate economic growth, encourage foreign investments, and enhance access to essential goods for the Sri Lankan market.

Sri Lanka Customs Director-General has been granted authorisation to release any cargo or consignment of goods, which arrived at any Port or Airport of Sri Lanka during the period of 16 April 2020 to 19 July 2023 and were in violation of the Imports and Exports Control Regulations on Temporary Suspension of importation. The release of such goods, however, will be subject to the approval of the Controller General of Imports and Exports Control and will require payment of an additional fee of 15% of the CIF value of the consignment.

The lifting of import restrictions will also include specific regulations for the importation of tiles and medicinal goods. Importation of tiles categorised under the HS Heading of 69.07 will be permitted for approved condominium, mix development, hotel projects, or Government Projects that do not fall under the purview of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, subject to certain conditions.

Additionally, importation of medicinal goods classified under HS Codes 3305.10, 3305.20, and 3305.90 will be allowed on prior approval of the Controller General of Imports and Exports for importers who are registered with the National Medicine Regulatory Authority (NMRA) and hold a valid Import License from the NMRA. The maximum value of importation will be limited to 50% of the annual average Cost Insurance Freight (CIF) value, based on the imported value of the said goods over the past five years.

In addition, single-use plastic plates, cups, spoons, forks, knives, and other cutlery instruments classified under HS Code 3924.10.90, will be allowed for import by registered catering service providers exclusively to service passengers’ on-board international airlines, subject to prior approval from the Controller General of Imports and Exports.

To ensure the smooth implementation of these regulatory changes, the Controller General of Imports and Exports will issue “Operational Instructions” to relevant authorities, including the Director General of Customs and licensed banks.

The final decision on any matters related to these regulations will rest with the Controller General of Imports and Exports, who will continue to oversee the effective implementation and management of the new import policy.

With the lifting of import restrictions, Sri Lanka’s business landscape is set to witness renewed opportunities and growth prospects, as the nation takes strides towards economic recovery and development.


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