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Sri Lanka Customs Information

For contact information regarding government custom authorities, please follow the link below: 

4.1 Sri Lanka Government Contact List

OCHA’s Directory on legislation for Customs facilitation

Information provided by the Permanent Mission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office in Geneva on 20 Jan 2005
The flights carrying humanitarian relief cargo operated to Sri Lanka and also similar flights operated through Bandaranaike International Airport to other countries suffered by the Tsunami disaster have so far been exempted from the payment of landing/packing charges and ground handling charges.

In respect of such flights operated by commercial airlines, it has been decided to discontinue the exemption on landing/packing and ground handling charges in respect of flights operated by commercial carriers carrying humanitarian cargo either to Sri Lanka or to another country, with immediate effect.

Nevertheless, flights operated by a foreign government delivering relief cargo to the government of Sri Lanka using state aircraft will continue to be exempted from airport charges. Further any commercial carrier operating on behalf of a foreign government, carrying relief goods will continue to benefit from the exemption, only if authenticated documents released by that government could be produced by the flight crew on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport which shall indicate that the foreign government/consignor has not been billed for landing/packing and ground handling charges payable at Bandaranaike International Airport Colombo by the commercial airline Operator. (Geneva 20 Jan 05) This Information was provided by the UNDAC team in Sri Lanka on 29 December 2004

Import procedures for relief commodities to Sri Lanka
For bilateral donations of relief commodities; the donating agency has to contact the MFA in Sri Lanka. The following documents have to be sent related to the commodities:
Cargo Manifest, Airway Bill, Gift Certificate, Packing list with invoice
Contact Person: Chief of Protocol
Fax: + 94 11 535 7406
Tel: +94 11 232 8681 or 232 7048

For UN related donations, the same documents have to be forwarded to:
RC/RR UNDP Mr.Neil Burne, e-mail: neil.buhne@undp.org, Fax : +94 11 2589691
UNDAC contact point at the airport in Colombo is Mr. Man Thapa, tel.: 0094 773148960

Entry and Departure of Aircraft:
Documentary requirements for Clearance of Aircraft
It is necessary that the under mentioned aircraft documents be submitted by airline operators for clearance on entry and departure of their aircraft to and from Sri Lanka. The Pilot-in-Command or his authorized agent must sign one copy of the General Declaration. All documents listed below must follow the ICAO Standard as set forth in the relevant Appendices to ICAO Annex 9 and acceptable when furnished in English and completed in legible handwriting.

  • Aircraft documents required (arrival/departure)
  • Required by General Declaration Passenger Manifest Cargo Manifest
  • Immigration yes
  • Health yes
  • Customs yes

Notes:
One copy of the General Declaration is endorsed and is returned by customs, signifying clearance.
Procedures for non-scheduled flights:

  • Prior approval must be obtained for the operation of non-scheduled flights into Sri Lanka
  • Required approval will be granted by the Director General of the Civil Aviation, Sri Lanka (DGCA) upon submission of an application in writing as per the format prescribed herein.
  • DGCA may, in approving such flights, assign a flight clearance number (FCN) which should be quoted for all clearance purposes.

The applications for the operation of a non scheduled flight into Sri Lanka must include the following information shown hereunder in the same order:

  • Name of Operator, -Postal Address, -Fax Number, -E-mail (if any), -AFTN address (if any)
  • Type of Aircraft, c. Registration number of aircraft, d. State of registry of aircraft
  • Aircraft call sign, f. Communication equipment on board, g. Name of pilot in command
  • Total number of persons on board, i. Expected date and time of arrival at VCBI
  • Expected date and time of departure from VCBI, k. Point of origin

Places of intended landing prior to arrival at VCBI, m. Inbound ATS route including entry point at Colombo FIR, n. Purpose of flight, o. Whether dangerous goods on board and if so, UN number, ICAO class and division,

  • Name of consignor, -Postal address, -Fax number, -E-mail (if any), -AFTN address (if any)
  • Name and address of consignee, -Postal address, -Fax number, -E-mail (if any), -AFTN (if any)
  • For general relief commodities, consignee may be described as “to whom it may concern”
  • Services/facilities required, s. Name of local handling agent, -Postal address, -Fax number
  • E-mail (if any), -AFTN (if any)
  • Final destination, u. Place of immediate landing after departure from Sri Lanka, v. Outbound ATS route including exit point of Colombo FIR, whether the operator has operated into VCBI or over Colombo FIR (within the preceding three years) and if so the last date of operation type of aircraft and registration number.

(Note: items p and q are not applicable for non-scheduled (passenger), Relief, Search and Rescue, Private or Ambulance flights)

Flight clearance or re-clearance once granted remains valid for a period of two days from the day of intended operation.
Re-clearance shall quote the Flight Clearance / Re-clearance number and indicate the expected new date and time of operations and any other details required if there is any change in the previously indicated information. Re-cleared flights will be issued with a re-clearance number which shall be quoted for any subsequent references. Delayed operations that fall within the two days of planned operations or cancellations should be notified forthwith to DGCA and Colombo Area Control Center.

The Pilot-in-Command of the aircraft shall, on demand by an authorized person, produce any of the following documents relating to the aircraft or the persons and / or the goods carried therein for inspection

  • Certificate of registration, - Certificate of airworthiness, - Licenses of its operating crew
  • Journey Log Book, - Telecommunication Log, - Any license to install and use a radio apparatus in the aircraft, - In case of a public transport aircraft, one of the load sheets relating to the aircraft
  • In case of a public transport aircraft, one of the copies of the certificate of safety which was last issued in respect of the aircraft, - Passenger manifest showing names and places of embarkation and disembarkation, - Cargo Manifest

OCHA’s Directory on legislation for Customs facilitation:

Information provided by the Permanent Mission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office in Geneva on 20 Jan 2005
The flights carrying humanitarian relief cargo operated to Sri Lanka and also similar flights operated through Bandaranaike International Airport to other countries suffered by the Tsunami disaster have so far been exempted from the payment of landing/packing charges and ground handling charges. In respect of such flights operated by commercial airlines, it has been decided to discontinue the exemption on landing/packing and ground handling charges in respect of flights operated by commercial carriers carrying humanitarian cargo either to Sri Lanka or to another country, with immediate effect. Flights operated by a foreign government delivering relief cargo to the government of Sri Lanka using state aircraft will continue to be exempted from airport charges. Further any commercial carrier operating on behalf of a foreign government, carrying relief goods will continue to benefit from the exemption, only if authenticated documents released by that government could be produced by the flight crew on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport which shall indicate that the foreign government/consignor has not been billed for landing/packing and ground handling charges payable at Bandaranaike International Airport Colombo by the commercial airline Operator. (Geneva 20 Jan 05) This information provided by the UNDAC team in Sri Lanka on 29 December 2004

Import procedures for relief commodities to Sri Lanka

For bilateral donations of relief commodities; the donating agency has to contact the MFA in Sri Lanka. The following documents have to be sent related to the commodities:
Cargo Manifest, Airway Bill, Gift Certificate, Packing list with invoice
Contact Person: Chief of Protocol
Fax: + 94 11 535 7406
Tel: +94 11 232 8681 or 232 7048

For UN related donations, the same documents have to be forwarded to

RC/RR UNDP Mr.Neil Burne, e-mail: neil.buhne@undp.org, Fax : +94 11 2589691
UNDAC contact point at the airport in Colombo is Mr. Man Thapa, tel.: 0094 773148960

Entry and Departure of Aircraft

Documentary requirements for Clearance of Aircraft

It is necessary that the under mentioned aircraft documents be submitted by airline operators for clearance on entry and departure of their aircraft to and from Sri Lanka. The Pilot-in-Command or his authorized agent must sign one copy of the General Declaration. All documents listed below must follow the ICAO Standard as set forth in the relevant Appendices to ICAO Annex 9 and acceptable when furnished in English and completed in legible handwriting.

Aircraft documents required (arrival/departure)

  • Required by General Declaration Passenger Manifest Cargo Manifest
  • Immigration
  • Health
  • Customs 

Note: One copy of the General Declaration is endorsed and returned by customs, signifying clearance

Procedures for non-scheduled flights:

  • Prior approval must be obtained for the operation of non-scheduled flights into Sri Lanka
  • Required approval will be granted by the Director General of the Civil Aviation, Sri Lanka (DGCA) upon submission of an application in writing as per the format prescribed herein.
  • DGCA may, in approving such flights, assign a flight clearance number (FCN) which should be quoted for all clearance purposes.

The applications for the operation of a non scheduled flight into Sri Lanka must include the following information shown hereunder in the same order:

  • Name of Operator, -Postal Address, -Fax Number, -E-mail (if any), -AFTN address (if any)
  • Type of Aircraft, c. Registration number of aircraft, d. State of registry of aircraft
  • Aircraft call sign, f. Communication equipment on board, g. Name of pilot in command
  • Total number of persons on board, i. Expected date and time of arrival at VCBI
  • Expected date and time of departure from VCBI, k. Point of origin
  • Places of intended landing prior to arrival at VCBI, m. Inbound ATS route including entry point at Colombo FIR, n. Purpose of flight, o. Whether dangerous goods on board and if so, UN number, ICAO class and division,
  • Name of consignor, -Postal address, -Fax number, -E-mail (if any), -AFTN address (if any)
  • Name and address of consignee, -Postal address, -Fax number, -E-mail (if any), -AFTN (if any)
  • For general relief commodities, consignee may be described as “to whom it may concern”
  • services/facilities required, s. Name of local handling agent, -Postal address, -Fax number
  • E-mail (if any), -AFTN (if any)
  • Final destination
  • VCBI or over Colombo FIR (within the preceding three years) and if so the last date of operation type of aircraft and registration number.

  • (Note: items p and q are not applicable for non-scheduled (passenger), Relief, Search and Rescue, Private or Ambulance flights)
  • Flight clearance or re-clearance once granted remains valid for a period of two days from the day of intended operation.
  • Re-clearance shall quote the Flight Clearance / Re-clearance number and indicate the expected new date and time of operations and any other details required if there is any change in the previously indicated information.
  • Re-cleared flights will be issued with a re-clearance number which shall be quoted for any subsequent references.
  • Delayed operations that fall within the two days of planned operations or cancellations should be notified forthwith to DGCA and Colombo Area Control Center

The Pilot-in-Command of the aircraft shall, on demand by an authorized person, produce any of the following documents relating to the aircraft or the persons and / or the goods carried therein for inspection:

  • Certificate of registration, - Certificate of airworthiness, - Licenses of its operating crew
  • Journey Log Book, - Telecommunication Log, - Any license to install and use a radio apparatus in the aircraft, - In case of a public transport aircraft, one of the load sheets relating to the aircraft
  • In case of a public transport aircraft, one of the copies of the certificate of safety which was last issued in respect of the aircraft, - Passenger manifest showing names and places of embarkation and disembarkation, - Cargo Manifest

Handling of Aircraft
The handling of the aircraft should be entrusted to a recognized airline e.g. Sri Lankan Airline and the DGCA is advised of the arrangements made, before the landing.
Civil Aviation: Director General of Civil Aviation / CEO, Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, No 64 Supreme Bldg., Galle Rd., Colombo 3, Sri Lanka.

NOTE: WFP being a member of the United Nations enjoy duty waivers and VAT waivers based prior applications for such waivers. There is a circular by the MOFA where VAT exemptions are given for certain items. For all other items, we need to prepare a duty free certificate in quadruplicate and send to MOFA for approval with justification.