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Full procedure view - for a first time trader
Import of electrical items through Port of Colombo
The full import procedure compiles all the mandatory licenses, permits and clearance steps to import electrical items as a first-time importer. If you are already registered as an importer with the Department of Inland Revenue, with Sri Lanka Customs and in the online system of SLSI, you can look in this search page of the product for the specific permits, certificates or information needed.
Licenses and primary registration
Obtain TIN certificate
To operate a business in Sri Lanka this registration is mandatory. The TIN certificate is issued by Sri Lanka Inland Revenue Department. In order to obtain the VAT certificate to import, this registration is mandatory.
Register in SLSI online system
For the import inspection scheme of the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI), importers must have access to the online portal where the application can be submitted. This registration generates the password and username credentials to access the SLSI online portal.
To import any product this registration is mandatory. The VAT certificate is issued by Sri Lanka Inland Revenue Department for an initial three-month period and has to be obtained every three months until income exceeds 3 million rupees. After income exceeds 3 million rupees, the importer can request the permanent VAT registration.
Import inspection scheme of SLSI
For certain items, the Customs or the Import and Export Control Department would not permit clearance of the imported product without the approval of Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI). In this case, the importer/clearing agent needs to undertake an inspection from SLSI.
Obtain import control license
The validity period of a general import control license is 90 days. A request for further extension of a license should be made within 30 days from the date of expiry. Even if the request is made before or after the date of expiry, the validity period of license will be extended only for a period not exceeding 90 days from the date of expiry. The period of extension depends on the nature of the license. In case of renewal of a license, consideration will be given to extend the period of validity to three times, while the total period of validity of a license will be one year (from the initial date of issuance of the license).
When issuing the import control license, the Import and Export Control Department will allow only a defined quota of the specified product to be imported. Once a share of the product is imported, the importer must obtain a debit note which states the remaining balance of product which he/she will be able to be import in the future.