COVID-19 [Sri Lanka]
IMPORTATION AND CUSTOMS
Customs, land, sea (updated 29 May 2020)
This includes measures to facilitate the cross-border movement of relief and essential supplies:
• Routine cargo selectivity criteria have been tailored, especially to release medium and low-risk cargo, focusing only on high-risk cargo. As a result, around 70% of the essential items were released under Green Channel;
• With the concurrence of other government agencies, a procedure was introduced to receive and coordinate regulatory approvals such as standards and permits via electronic means to ensure expedited clearance and release;
• Provisional online procedures were introduced to verify certificates of origin and grant preferential tariff treatments for transactions under Preferential Free Trade Agreements (PTA) under the South Asian Association Regional Corporation (SAARC);
• Provisional goods clearance procedures have been extended, with priority for consignments of relief goods and consignments needing expedited clearance;
• Existing 24x7 services were limited to approximately 8 hours per day in view of the low volume of exports as most of the factories were closed for operations due to government policy on minimizing human gathering. However, facilities were made available on call as required during Customs non-operating hours;
• In addition to the regular Customs Enquiry Point, a special 24x7 help desk is in operation to attend public and stakeholder inquiries;
• COVID-19 Contingency Plans detailing working hours and arrangements and emergency official contact numbers were published and regularly updated on the Sri Lanka Customs website.
Other measures in the document aim at sustaining supply chain continuity, protecting Customs administrations’ staff (including social distancing measures), and other internal restrictions.
• Pre-arrival documentation on health declaration;
Crew change is permitted, subject to the following conditions:
• Foreign crew changes are now allowed based on a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by Authorities. Various restrictions and rules apply for on- and off-signing crew.
• Bulk crew change (on signers and off signers) will be assessed and can be approved on a case-by-case basis.
Shore leave is not permitted unless it is for medical reasons. Further restrictions apply:
• No SSCE renewal can be carried out during this period;
Customs, importation procedure (updated 15 May 2020)
. According to a Logistics Cluster update on 15 May 2020:
• All commercial borders are still open to cargo movement;
• There are a limited number of truckers and Customs officers on duty due to the pandemic.
• PCR tests are to be undertaken;
• Crew are to be accommodated in Safe Houses during transit.
More information, as well as information on exports and transshipments, can be found on the notice. As an extended facilitation, a template-based processing of applications and other operational requests will be provided over email. More information as well as contact details can be found on the notice.
Sri Lanka Customs has decided to start the operations for the clearance of all import and export cargo while adhering to the government policy to maintain social distancing during the COVID19 epidemic.