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Sri Lanka to amend Customs Ordinance for improved trade practices

Sri Lanka to amend Customs Ordinance for improved trade practices

Daily FT: The Cabinet of Ministers on Monday approved amendments to the Customs Ordinance to enhance revenue collection, transparency, trade facilitation and compliance requirements.
The move comes after a thorough scrutiny of proposed changes to sections 47, 57 and 153 of the existing ordinances, as presented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies Minister.
On 13 October 2022, the proposed amendments were approved by the Cabinet, marking a key step towards modernizing and streamlining Customs processes in the country. The changes will have far-reaching implications for businesses engaged in international trade, aiming to promote a more efficient and transparent framework.
In addition, a Ministerial Committee headed by the Ports, Shipping and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was appointed to study and report on the issues related to the release of goods detained by Sri Lanka Customs. Considering the recommendations presented by the Ministerial Committee, on 4 September 2023, the Cabinet approved to amend the relevant provisions of the Customs Ordinance.
“The word ‘ordinance’ itself explains how old or which era of law we are talking about. The amended ordinance will improve Sri Lanka’s position in the global trade arena by aligning its customs procedures with international best practices,” Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardena said at the post-Cabinet meeting media briefing.

OSL take:
The government of Sri Lanka is focused on expanding the county’s existing trade ties by carrying out reviews and revamping them. Sri Lanka enjoys many trade agreements as well as trade concessions that have helped local exports. Local authorities are also looking at exploring possibilities of forming new trade agreements and ties. Sri Lanka is in the process of improving the country’s ease of doing business environment in a bid to attract foreign investments while also looking at improving trade ties. It is in such a backdrop that the government of Sri Lanka is looking at amending laws related to the trade sector by removing impediments for businesses/investors interested in doing business with Sri Lanka. Given the growth and business potential in Sri Lanka and the development of a business-friendly environment in the country, foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore the growing opportunities in the country.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20231109/Z_3

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