Sri Lanka welcomes the successful conclusion of negotiations between Iran and the US, UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union in Vienna on 14 July 2015. Sri Lanka has always supported efforts by the international community to resolve the...
Speaking at a Press Conference at the Sri Lankan Pavilion of Expo Milano 2015, Mr. Bandula Egodage, Chairman - Sri Lanka Export Development Board called Sri Lanka an 'Ethical Sourcing Destination'. His claim was strongly endorsed by Ms. Ghizzoni of...
The Group of Fifteen (G-15), a Summit level organisation of developing countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, currently chaired by Sri Lanka has taken an initiative to...
Sri Lanka has highlighted the importance of enhancing public investment in education as an essential prerequisite to ensure right to education. It was noted that the new Government has pledged to...
Minister of Labour S.B. Navinne addressed the 104th Session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva on 05 June 2015 and highlighted the importance of formulating policies and strategies to...
Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicines Rajitha Senaratne, held a discussion with Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), on the sidelines of the 68th Session...
FOREIGN TRADE REGIME OF SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka, a founder member of the GATT/WTO, continues to be a strong promoter of free trade. Its foreign trade regime is characterised by a combination of the GATT/WTO disciplines and a series of market-oriented reforms, which were introduced unilaterally by several successive governments since 1977. The liberal trade policies strive at further integrating Sri Lanka into the global economy, while holding in balance the domestic stakeholder interests.
Imports are primarily regulated through border tariffs with hardly any quantitative restrictions. Sri Lanka currently maintains a simplified four-band tariff structure, where over 50% of the tariff lines enjoy zero (MFN) duty.
|Classification|| Customs Duty (%)
|| No. of Tariff Lines
|Essential inputs, not manufactured locally||0.0
|Raw materials & semi raw materials||7.5||184|
However, it is pertinent to mention that a few product categories such as alcohol, cigarettes, perfumes and automobiles are subject to higher tariffs.
Sri Lanka is a signatory to the following free / preferential trade agreements, which grant tariff concessions to a wide range of products in a number of key markets.
- Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement
- Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement
- South-Asian Free Trade Area (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka)
- Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (Bangladesh, China, India, South Korea, Laos and Sri Lanka)
- Global System of Trade Preferences – GSTP (Over 40 countries)
Sri Lanka also enjoys preferential market access under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) schemes of the following countries.
Australia Canada European Union
Japan New Zealand Norway (GSP+)
Russia Switzerland United States
An ideal destination for trade and investment
The 2013 “Ease of Doing Business” Survey by the World Bank Group has ranked Sri Lanka as the easiest country to do business within the entire South Asian region. A host of factors, including peaceful and business friendly environment, supportive government policies, educated and easily adaptable workforce, strategic location and connectivity, preferential access to key markets, fast improving social infrastructure and quality of life have made Sri Lanka an ideal destination for both trade and investment.
| Department of Commerce
|Department of Sri Lanka Customs|
|Board of Investment of Sri Lanka|
|Department of Registrar of Companies|
|National Intellectual Property Office|
|Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau
|Sri Lanka Export Development Board|