Sri Lanka - Country Commercial Guide
Import Tariffs and Taxes
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Tariffs and Taxes 

Import Tariffs  

Sri Lanka uses import tariffs as its main trade policy instrument.  Goods imported to Sri Lanka are subject to the following taxes, duties, and fiscal levies at the time of importation, in addition to other applicable taxes/levies:  

  • Customs Duty  
  • Value Added Tax  
  • Excise Duty
  • Port and Airport Development Levy  
  • Special Commodity Levy  
  • Export Development Board (EDB) Levy (a.k.a. Cess)
  • Social Security Contribution Levy  

These taxes entail concessions and exemptions, while some items may require approvals/permits or licenses prior to importation under other statutory requirements.  In addition, all imports are subject to the Foreign Exchange Act No.12 of 2017 

Customs duty is levied on the value for customs duty (i.e., transaction value).  Sri Lanka has a simplified three-tier tariff structure stipulated by the World Trade Organization (WTO).  The rates are published in government gazettes.  The current rates are 10 percent and 15 percent (0 percent on a few goods). 

Value Added Tax (VAT) is payable on the importation of goods, on the supply of goods (including wholesale and retail trade), and on the supply of services in Sri Lanka. The current rate is 15 percent. 

Excise duties and special excise levies are charged on tobacco, cigarettes, liquor, motor vehicles, some petroleum products, and some electronic items at various rates.

Port and Airport Development Levy is imposed on specified goods.  The standard rate is 10 percent.  Apart from the standard rate, three preferred rates are in place. Such concessionary rate of Port and Airport Development Levy on articles that were subject to National Building Tax is increased by 2.5 percent.