October 1, 2022
The Government yesterday said import restrictions will be reviewed every two weeks, to accommodate valid recommendations by the private sector. “It is not a permanent or a blanket restriction. It is only a temporary limitation due to foreign exchange crisis. The amendments to the list of items will be presented to Parliament for approval,” Acting Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said at the post-Cabinet meeting media briefing yesterday. Acknowledging the difficulties faced by several industries due to the policy decision, he said the Government has made exemptions for certain items that have been recognised as essential, following thorough and valid recommendations submitted by the private sector and trading community. In July imports were down 25% to $ 1.28 billion and in the first 7 months' expenditure was down 3.5% to $ 11.3 billion. The Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations No. 13 of 2022 published in the Gazette Extraordinary No 2294/30 Dated 23 August 2022 has been amended accordingly.As per the new Gazette Extraordinary No 2296/30 of 9 September 2022, Customs clearance of any goods, specified in Schedule 1 of the Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations No. 13 of 2022, which have been shipped on board with the date of Bill of Lading/Airway Bill on or before 23 August 2022, will be allowed until 30 September 2022. Minister Dr. Pathirana also said they were ready to lift the ban as soon as the foreign exchange crisis was resolved. Importation of any goods, specified, which are imported based on a Letter of Credit (LC) established on or before 23 August 2022 or an advance payment of a minimum of 10% of the total amount, effected on or before 23 August 2022, will be allowed for Customs clearance on submission of proof of documents, issued by licensed banks. Raw materials or intermediate goods, specified in Schedule I, not available locally sufficiently and required for any products, which are locally manufactured with a minimum of 20% local value addition, will be allowed to import such essential raw materials or intermediate goods by the Controller General of Imports and Exports on the recommendation of the Secretary, Ministry of Industries. Capital goods, specified in Schedule I but not available locally and required for continued operations of any local industries, may be allowed to be imported such capital goods by the Controller General of Imports and Exports on the recommendation of the Secretary of the Ministry of Industries. Any vessels and floating structures, machinery. equipment and accessories including parts, specified in Schedule I, which are not locally available but required for fisheries-related activities may be allowed by the Controller General of imports and Exports on the recommendation of the Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries. Franchise holders/operators of any international food and beverage chains, established in the country may be allowed to import goods specified in Schedule I except vehicles and auto parts, on a Special License, issued every quarter by the Controller General of Imports and Exports. Importation of goods specified in Schedule I, by any Government entities which are providing essential services or supplies or Government Funded Project Entities for direct use of such entities or projects including for their operations and maintenance of such services or supplies, shall be allowed by the Controller General of Imports and Exports on the recommendation of the Secretary to the line Ministry in charge of the subject. Importation of project-related capital Goods, listed in Schedule I (including international brands being imported by registered agents) for any Strategic Development Projects or other projects, funded by foreign direct investors or local investors, approved under Section 17 of the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka Act No. 4 of 1978, is permitted to be imported on the recommendation of the Director General of Board of Investment. Furthermore, loans of any local banks shall not be used for such importation of project-related capital goods under this Regulation. In such instances, the importer shall submit a recommendation from the Director General of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka to commercial banks and the Director General of Customs to the effect of payment and Customs clearance purposes. Importation of goods specified in Schedule I by Local Suppliers (Indirect Exporters), who import, process, and supply such goods for exporters as specified in Regulation No.4 (b) of Imports Control Regulations on Payment Terms No. 07 of 2022, published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2278/21 dated 6 May 2022, shall be allowed. Importation of any goods specified in Schedule I of the said Regulations, under the Indian Credit Line shall be allowed by the Controller General of Imports and Exports on the recommendation of the Director General, Department of External Resources. Importation of any goods, specified in Schedule I by authorised dealers for replacement of defective equipment, machinery, or parts or repairs as part of the manufacturer's warranty/guarantee may be allowed by the Controller General of Imports and Exports on a case-by-case basis. Importation of any goods, specified in Schedule I by operators of duty-free shops or ship stores for direct sales or bonded warehouses for re-export purposes shall be allowed for Customs clearance by the Director General of Customs. The Head of the Department of Foreign Exchange and the Head of the Department of Bank Supervision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka should ensure that the commercial banks are carrying out related activities in compliance with the objectives of these Regulations. Where any commercial bank acts in violation of the provisions of new Regulations, the Director General of Customs shall notify such violations in detail together with relevant documentary evidence to the Head of the Department of Foreign Exchange and the Controller General of Imports and Exports. The Head of the Department of Foreign Exchange and the Controller General of Imports and Exports shall take action as provided for in the law or inform the relevant authority to take appropriate action, as the case may be. The Controller General of Imports and Exports shall issue appropriate “Operational Instructions” to the Director General of Customs and the licensed banks for effective implementation of these Regulations. The final decision shall be made by the Controller General of Imports and Exports on any issues arising about these Regulations. Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations No. 10 of 2021, published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2231118 dated 11 June 2021, also has been amended. Any other requests for the importation of any goods, specified in the Schedule I to said Regulations, by any enterprises which are not addressed by the Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations No. 10 of 2021, may be allowed by the Controller General of Imports and Exports Control subject to the approval of the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance on the recommendation of the Secretary to the Treasury for the purpose direct usage, not for trading purposes, of such enterprises, case by case basis. Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations No. 05 of 2020, published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2189/4 dated 17 August 2020, too has been amended. Goods, described below together with their corresponding entries shall be inserted into Schedule I of the Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations No. 05 of 2020, where the importation of goods listed in said Schedule has been Temporarily Suspended.- BPN TODAY

Govt. revises import curbs selectively

  • Acting Cabinet Spokesman Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana says restrictions are revised every two weeks 
  • Select relaxation in response to private sector recommendations
  • Goods shipped on or before 23 Aug. will be allowed to be imported until 30 Sept.
  • LCs opened with 10% advance paid on or before 23 Aug. to be honoured
  • Raw material or intermediate goods not sufficiently available for products with minimum 20% local value addition to be facilitated
  • Relief for capital goods imports too along with host of other select products

The Government yesterday said import restrictions will be reviewed every two weeks, to accommodate valid recommendations by the private sector.

“It is not a permanent or a blanket restriction. It is only a temporary limitation due to foreign exchange crisis. The amendments to the list of items will be presented to Parliament for approval,” Acting Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said at the post-Cabinet meeting media briefing yesterday.

Acknowledging the difficulties faced by several industries due to the policy decision, he said the Government has made exemptions for certain items that have been recognised as essential, following thorough and valid recommendations submitted by the private sector and trading community.

In July imports were down 25% to $ 1.28 billion and in the first 7 months’ expenditure was down 3.5% to $ 11.3 

billion.

The Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations No. 13 of 2022 published in the Gazette Extraordinary No 2294/30 Dated 23 August 2022 has been amended accordingly.As per the new Gazette Extraordinary No 2296/30 of 9 September 2022, Customs clearance of any goods, specified in Schedule 1 of the Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations No. 13 of 2022, which have been shipped on board with the date of Bill of Lading/Airway Bill on or before 23 August 2022, will be allowed until 30 September 2022.

Minister Dr. Pathirana also said they were ready to lift the ban as soon as the foreign exchange crisis was resolved. 

Importation of any goods, specified, which are imported based on a Letter of Credit (LC) established on or before 23 August  2022 or an advance payment of a minimum of 10% of the total amount, effected on or before 23 August 2022, will be allowed for Customs clearance on submission of proof of documents, issued by licensed banks.

Raw materials or intermediate goods, specified in Schedule I, not available locally sufficiently and required for any products, which are locally manufactured with a minimum of 20% local value addition, will be allowed to import such essential raw materials or intermediate goods by the Controller General of Imports and Exports on the recommendation of the Secretary, Ministry of Industries.

Capital goods, specified in Schedule I but not available locally and required for continued operations of any local industries, may be allowed to be imported such capital goods by the Controller General of Imports and Exports on the recommendation of the Secretary of the Ministry of Industries.

Any vessels and floating structures, machinery. equipment and accessories including parts, specified in Schedule I, which are not locally available but required for fisheries-related activities may be allowed by the Controller General of imports and Exports on the recommendation of the Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries.

Franchise holders/operators of any international food and beverage chains, established in the country may be allowed to import goods specified in Schedule I except vehicles and auto parts, on a Special License, issued every quarter by the Controller General of Imports and Exports.

Importation of goods specified in Schedule I, by any Government entities which are providing essential services or supplies or Government Funded Project Entities for direct use of such entities or projects including for their operations and maintenance of such services or supplies, shall be allowed by the Controller General of Imports and Exports on the recommendation of the Secretary to the line Ministry in charge of the subject.

Importation of project-related capital Goods, listed in Schedule I (including international brands being imported by registered agents) for any Strategic Development Projects or other projects, funded by foreign direct investors or local investors, approved under Section 17 of the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka Act No. 4 of 1978, is permitted to be imported on the recommendation of the Director General of Board of Investment. Furthermore, loans of any local banks shall not be used for such importation of project-related capital goods under this Regulation.

In such instances, the importer shall submit a recommendation from the Director General of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka to commercial banks and the Director General of Customs to the effect of payment and Customs clearance purposes.

Importation of goods specified in Schedule I by Local Suppliers (Indirect Exporters), who import, process, and supply such goods for exporters as specified in Regulation No.4 (b) of Imports Control Regulations on Payment Terms No. 07 of 2022, published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2278/21 dated 6 May 2022, shall be allowed.

Importation of any goods specified in Schedule I of the said Regulations, under the Indian Credit Line shall be allowed by the Controller General of Imports and Exports on the recommendation of the Director General, Department of External Resources.

Importation of any goods, specified in Schedule I by authorised dealers for replacement of defective equipment, machinery, or parts or repairs as part of the manufacturer’s warranty/guarantee may be allowed by the Controller General of Imports and Exports on a case-by-case basis.

Importation of any goods, specified in Schedule I by operators of duty-free shops or ship stores for direct sales or bonded warehouses for re-export purposes shall be allowed for Customs clearance by the Director General of Customs.

The Head of the Department of Foreign Exchange and the Head of the Department of Bank Supervision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka should ensure that the commercial banks are carrying out related activities in compliance with the objectives of these Regulations.

Where any commercial bank acts in violation of the provisions of new Regulations, the Director General of Customs shall notify such violations in detail together with relevant documentary evidence to the Head of the Department of Foreign Exchange and the Controller General of Imports and Exports. 

The Head of the Department of Foreign Exchange and the Controller General of Imports and Exports shall take action as provided for in the law or inform the relevant authority to take appropriate action, as the case may be.

The Controller General of Imports and Exports shall issue appropriate “Operational Instructions” to the Director General of Customs and the licensed banks for effective implementation of these Regulations.

The final decision shall be made by the Controller General of Imports and Exports on any issues arising about these Regulations.

Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations No. 10 of 2021, published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2231118 dated 11 June 2021, also has been amended.

Any other requests for the importation of any goods, specified in the Schedule I to said Regulations, by any enterprises which are not addressed by the Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations No. 10 of 2021, may be allowed by the Controller General of Imports and Exports Control subject to the approval of the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance on the recommendation of the Secretary to the Treasury for the purpose direct usage, not for trading purposes, of such enterprises, case by case basis.

Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations No. 05 of 2020, published in the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2189/4 dated 17 August 2020, too has been amended.

Goods, described below together with their corresponding entries shall be inserted into Schedule I of the Imports and Exports (Control) Regulations No. 05 of 2020, where the importation of goods listed in said Schedule has been Temporarily Suspended.

 
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