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Important note: This article is a part of the project, Products of Sri Lanka Customs.

An export is a supply of the processed, assembled or manufactured goods sent to a destination outside of Sri Lanka for sale.


Mode of Declaration

  1. Manual
  2. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
  3. Direct Trader’s Input (DTI)

Places of Declaration

  1. Main export office – CBEX1
  2. Katunayake export office – KTEX1
  3. Colombo Bonds office – CBBD1
  4. Colombo Investors Facilitation Division – CBIF1
  5. Sri Lankan Air Lines office, Colombo 03
  6. DHL Courier Service, Ja-Ela
  7. Cargo office- Galle

Types of Duties & Other Levies

  1. Customs Duty
  2. Royalty
  3. EDB cess,
  4. SLTB cess
  5. CDB cess
  6. RDD cess
  7. Tea Medical cess

Methods of Declaration (Cage 1 of CusDec)

Out right export
Temporary exports

Custom Procedure Codes (CPC)

Outright exports
Export under TIEP scheme
Export under rebate scheme
Temporary exports FRIC
BOI exports
Re-export of TIEP goods
Re-export of INFAC goods


The following License and permits are necessary when exporting certain items under various ordinances.

  1. Archaeological Certificate issued by Archaeological Department for antiques under Antiques Ordinance. Recommendation of Archaeological Department is necessary for exporting furniture which are old or new and made of wood or any other material.
  2. Tea Permit issued by Tea Controller for Tea under Tea Board Act.
  3. Quarantine or veterinary Certificate issued by Agriculture Department for plants and animals. This is necessary only if requested by buyer.
  4. R.M.V. Certificate issued by Registrar of Motor Vehicles for export of registered vehicles.
  5. Permit issued by Wild Life Department for items under Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance.
  6. Permit issued by Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for restricted list of species.
  7. License issued by the Excise Commissioner for items under Excise Ordinance.
  8. For Ayurvedic Drugs a document should be produced in which name and the registration number of the physician who scrutinized the production should be mentioned.
  9. License issued by Ministry of Defense for fire Arms.

Now permits are not required for exporting rice. Also western drugs can be exported without any permits.

Export Control License

  1. For Coral Chanks - permit issued by Department of Wild Life is required.
  2. For Timber, i.e. Wood (including logs and sawn timber) classified under H.S. Chapter 44 excluding coconut shell charcoal, household utensils of wood and rubber wood - permit issued by Forest Department is required. Handicrafts made of Ebony are allowed to be exported on the recommendation of the National Craft Council. Otherwise Ebony is not allowed to be exported in any other form, i.e. timber or furniture. Sawn Rubber timber is allowed to be exported without license.
  3. For Motor Vehicles first registered in Sri Lanka prior to 01.01.45 - permit issued by Registrar of Motor Vehicles is required.


Documents Necessary to Process an Export Goods Declaration

  1. Customs Declaration (CusDec)
  2. Licenses and permits if required.
  3. Invoice.
  4. Shipping Note/Airway Bill
  5. Packing list and other supporting documents as and when necessary.


CusDec should be submitted in 4 copies with an additional copy each for bonded cargo and airfreight cargo.

  1. Warrant copy,
  2. Statistical copy,
  3. Security copy,
  4. Parties copy,
  5. CBD copy
  6. Air cargo copy

When exporting liquor and coconut products excise copy and CDA (Coconut Development Authority) copy should be attached respectively. This declaration requires to be submitted along with the other documents mentioned above for processing.

Shipping Note/Captains Copy

Shipping Note contains details about the cargo to be exported and is prepared by the exporter (shipper) with additional copies. Shipping agent gives a particular number (BL No) to this document and puts his seal and signature on it. Three copies of these documents are sent to Sri Lanka Ports Authority for the purpose of calculating their charges. This document states that a shipper has reserved space in the ship for the cargo.

Airway Bill

It is a document to say that a particular airline has undertaken to carry the goods to the required destination and the space for the goods in the aircraft has been reserved.


Invoice is a document prepared by the Exporter stating all the particulars regarding the shipment. This has to be filled along with the Goods Declaration at the time of processing it at the Export Office.

Some Other Documents Involve In the Export Procedure

  1. Boat Note
  2. Mate Note
  3. Cargo Dispatch Note

Boat Note

This is a set of documents and these documents are collectively referred as Boat Note. This document is used to monitor and to control the movement of the cargo on board the vessel.

Mate Note

This is a document signed by the authorities of the vessel in which cargo is transported. This document contains the actual information about the cargo loaded to the vessel.

Cargo Dispatch Note

This is a document used to accompany cargo from the shipper's stores to the Port. This has to be prepared with additional 5 copies and signed by the exporter or the shipper and his security staff to be produced at the entrance to the Port/Air Cargo premises.  

Goods Declaration Processing

Declaration at Receiving Counter (Face-Vet)

All export goods declarations supported by the other required documents such as licenses and permits, Shipping Note and Invoice should be handed over to the Face-Vet Officer at the Declaration Receiving Counter at the Export Office. On receipt of these documents, the Face-Vet Officer checks whether all the columns of the Declaration have been correctly filled and whether it has been signed by the declarant. He particularly checks whether the tax Identification No. (TIN No.) and the declarant's registration number which are given on the 'Declaration'. Further he checks whether all supporting documents required to pass the Declaration are in order. If the Declaration is filled correctly in all respects he passes it on to the Keying-in officer. All incorrect entries are handed back to the Wharf Representative for amendment over the counter.


Key-in officer feeds the Declaration to the computer. Code number indicated thereon should tally with those the computer is fed with. Otherwise the Declaration is quarried and sent to the quarry counter where the Wharf Representative amends it and returns it to the key-in officer for processing. If the information given is acceptable the computer registers the Declaration and generates a number which is taken as the Declaration number. It also generates an assessment notice which is signed by the key-in officer for the purpose of payment.


The numbering officer numbers all the copies of the Declaration together with attached documents such as Captain's copy of Shipping Note/Boat Note (B.L.), Invoice, and License with the same number generated by the computer and sends it for payments or receiving of duty etc. Cash Declarations are sent to the Shroff while Current Account declarations are sent to the Ledger Section for debiting respective current accounts.

Payment/Securing of Levies


This officer receives the payments in respect of Cash Declaration and issue a receipt. He notes the amounts paid in his register and pushes the Declaration to the Accounts Updating Officer.

Ledger Officer

This Officer handles the requisition Declaration. He enters the amounts payable in the Ledger of the particular account holder, signs the Declaration on the stamp and submits it with the register to the OIC Ledger for authenticating the securing of duty etc. He checks the correctness of the Declarations made in the Ledger and places the signature on the stamp on the Declaration.

Accounts Updating (for Cash Declarations)

Accounts updating officer feeds the computer with the amounts paid on each Cash Declaration and compares with the amounts assessed on the assessment notice. If in order the computer accepts and updates the accounts by registering it. If there is an error in the payment the computer rejects the Declaration. In such cases it has to be referred back to the Shroff. When the error is rectified, the computer updates the account and generates a number. The account updating enters this number on the Declaration and signs it. The Declaration is thereafter passed on to the Cash/Daily Revenue Abstract Officer.

Preparation of Cash Sheet and Daily Revenue Abstract (for Cash Declarations)

The Cash Sheet/Daily Revenue Abstract Officer takes the Accounts updating number to his cash sheet for the preparation of the Daily Revenue Abstract and sends the Declaration to the Sub-Collector Channel Selection.

Channel Selection (Green & Red)

All the Declarations should go through the Sub-Collector of Channel Selection. The officer selects them for shipment where the further scrutiny is necessary and/or examination is required and puts them to the red channel. All the other Declarations (green channel) are warranted by him and sent to the delivery counter.

Grading for type of examination

The Chief Export Officer decides the type of Examination required to be done on cargo placed on red channel. If he is in the opinion that no examination is necessary he exempts the cargo from examination. The sequence of the above declaration flow is changed with respect to Goods Declarations pertaining to traditional cargo such as tea, coconut and rubber by permitting exporters/Wharf Representatives to present their goods declarations to Chief Export Officer first for him to determine the type of examination to enable them prepare themselves in advance for outside examinations etc. if any. Such Declarations are handed over to Face-Vet Officer only after they have gone through the Chief Export Officer first.


The Sub-Collector (Warranting) goes through the Declaration and if he satisfies himself that it is correct in all respects, he signs it for warranting and sends it to the Chief Export Officer.

Delivery Counter

Two Asst. Supdt. of Customs occupy this place. On receipt of the Declarations which are processed in the branch, they enter them in a register. The Warrant copies and the Statistical copies are retained and the other copies (Party's copy, Security copy, CBD copy and Air cargo copy) are handed over to the Exporter or to his representative under acknowledgment. The Statistical copies are handed over to the Statistical Branch, while the Warrant copies are filed of record in the Export Division.

Procedure for Shipping of Export Containers

  1. Shipper prepares 9 copies of Shipping Notes (SN).
  2. 3 copies are submitted to the agent who enters the numbers on these 3 copies and returns one copy to the shipper.
  3. 3 copies of the SNs are submitted to the accountant and the charges are paid. The accountant retains a copy and gives 2 copies (charges paid) to the shipper.
  4. The driver comes with the copies of CDNs and the load of the lorry (container) to the JCT export office.
  5. At the export office, 4 copies of CDNs are registered and 2 copies are returned to the lorry driver.
  6. The lorry driver proceeds to the weight bridge gate at the terminal. One copy of CDN is submitted to the gate. The other copy of CDN is retained with the lorry driver.
  7. The shipper brings 5 SN copies to the Export Office and get them registered. Then the shipper receives 5 copies of SN and the CDN from the Export Office.
  8. After the arrival of all the containers in respect of the shipment, the shipper will hand over 5 copies of the SN and the CDN to the Customs terminal office for their documentation. The shipper retains one copy of boat notes and returns 4 copies of boat notes and the registered CDN to the Export Office.
  9. The export clerk sends 4 boat notes and the CDN to the pier clerk.
  10. After loading the cargo, the pier clerk handovers 4 copies of boat notes and the CDN to the supervising officer.
  11. On completion of loading of container, the supervising officer obtains the signature of the chief officer to the boat notes. (the boat note becomes the Mate Receipts)
  12. The export office retains one copy of the Mate Receipts and passes on one copy to the Customs Export Office.
  13. The exporter should collect his copy of the Mate Receipts from the export office and submit it to the shipping agent to obtain the BL.

--Gishan Chaturanga 15:40, 10 July 2012 (IST)