Sri Lanka Customs to be Fully Automated in 2016
10 August 2015
Sri Lanka is in the final stages of its Customs automation process to ensure trade facilitation. Customs operations will be electronically processed and computer-based for a paperless environment that allows more interaction between trade and Customs. Automation equipment orders have been placed and delivered to Sri Lanka – and the system is expected to be fully operational by March 2016.
This new system aims to improve communication between Sri Lanka Customs and Department of Commerce, minimize unnecessary delays, and help build cooperation between importers and exporters. The People’s Bank in Sri Lanka has established a facility with Sri Lanka Customs for online payments. People’s Bank is in the process of facilitating connection with other banks through their payment platform.
Sri Lanka is a member of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program and attends SASEC Customs Subgroup (SCS) meetings, where automation is a priority activity for all member countries. The SCS – formally established in 2013 by the SASEC Trade Facilitation Working Group to promote subregional trade facilitation initiatives – held its third meeting (SCS-3) in Goa, India on 11-12 March 2015.
Development and upgrading of automated Customs management systems is one of the key components of the SASEC Trade Facilitation Program (STFP). STFP aims to increase trade, including intraregional trade of SASEC countries by reducing or removing non-tariff barriers, and technical trade barriers in Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.