Sri Lanka - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Agreements

Describes trade agreements this country is a party to. Includes resources where U.S. companies can get information on how to take advantage of these agreements.

Last published date: 2021-09-28

Sri Lanka has signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with India, Pakistan, and Singapore, and is currently negotiating an FTA with the PRC.  

The FTAs with India and Pakistan cover only trade in goods.  The agreements provide for duty-free entry as well as duty preferences for manufactured and agricultural goods.  Domestic value addition of 35 percent is required to qualify for concessions granted under the agreements. 

The Singapore-Sri Lanka FTA came into force on May 1, 2018.  The FTA covers: investment, goods, services, trade facilitation, government procurement, telecommunications, e-commerce, and dispute settlement.  Sri Lanka has eliminated customs duties on 50 percent of tariff lines (including tariff lines already with zero duty), which will progressively increase to 80 percent over 14 years.  Sri Lanka will not reduce or eliminate duties on the remaining 20 percent of tariff lines. 

Sri Lanka is a member of the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA). 

Some Sri Lankan exports to the United States qualify for duty free privileges under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which offers preferential duty-free treatment for up to 5,000 products (apparel products are excluded) from designated beneficiary countries.  The United States-Sri Lanka bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) provides a framework for the two governments to discuss and resolve trade and investment issues at an early stage.  The most recent TIFA discussions occurred in June 2019.

In May 2017, Sri Lanka regained the European Union’s (EU) Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) privileges for Sri Lankan exports.  The trade preferences under GSP+ consists of the full removal of duties on 66 percent of tariff lines, covering a wide array of products including textiles and fisheries.  The GSP+ scheme is conditional on Sri Lanka advancing human and labor rights and working towards sustainable development.