Logistic and forwarding services in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Capital City
de jure: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte; de facto: Colombo

20.48 Mio

National languages
Singhalesish, Tamil

Sri-Lanka-Rupie (LKR)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 78,82 Mrd. (prov.)

GNP per person
USD 3’819 (prov.)

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 115,7 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 195,5 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Sri Lanka

Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Sri Lanka are good. Switzerland has had commitments in various fields in Sri Lanka for many years. A number of Hhigh-level meetings between representatives of the two countries have taken place over the past 12 monthsintensified since 2015. The newWith its Sri Lanka Strategy for the period 2016-20, Switzerland intends to support reforms and reconciliation processes and to strengthen bilateral relations.

Economic cooperation

Sri Lankan economic growth was 6% in 2014, down from 7% in 2013. Inflation remained more or less stable in 2014 at 7%.Sri Lanka has maintained an average growth of around 6% in recent years. The bilateral trade balance has been negative for Switzerland in recent years, with a small number of exceptions. In 20154, Switzerland imported goods worth CHF 195 165.2 million were imported from Sri Lanka (up down 1523% year-on-year), compared with exports of CHF 1315.57 million (down up 1745%).


Business language


Dimensions and weights

Metric system.


National currency Sri Lankan Rupee (S.L.Re.) = 100 Sri Lanka Cents (S.L.Cts.).

ISO code: LKR

Customs tariff

Harmonised system, customs clearance based on the CIF value.

Contractual regulations

Sri Lanka – EU: included in general autonomous tariff preferences

Double taxation agreement in force since 01/01/1983, Federal Law Gazette II 1981, p. 630

Use of the ATA Carnet.

Import control

Import is broadly liberalised. An import licence is generally only still required for the following products: medicinal products, chemicals, animal feed, various types of telecommunications equipment, weapons and munitions, fuel, gas and used vehicles (more than 2 years old).

The exporter should check whether a licence is required and if so whether one has been obtained before shipment. If a licence is required, the date of issue and licence number must be included on the commercial invoice.

There are no foreign currency restrictions.

Commercial banks are instructed by the central bank. When a letter of credit is opened the rate applicable on this date and not on redemption is to be used.

State export guarantees are only granted to a limited extent.

Standard VAT rate: 12%

Terms of payment and tenders

Irrevocable, confirmed letter of credit. In the case of postal shipments send documents and goods to the collecting banks. Tenders in EUR (or GBP) on the basis of CIF Colombo. Correspondence in English.

Designations of origin

The country of origin must be indicated. Same size as the other information. Indicate the gross and net weight too.


Boxes must be labelled with the name of the country of origin and other necessary information.

Container loading recommended. In addition to the standard information each package must be labelled with the country of origin (e.g. Made in …) in letters which are the same size as the other information.

Indicating the gross and net weight and the external dimensions is recommended.

The competent authorities should be contacted about the applicable labelling regulations (including for pharmaceuticals and foods).


Seaworthy packaging. Warm, humid climate, particularly unfavourable in May-July and October-December.

Regulations of ISPM No. 15.

Product samples

Duty free if they have no retail value.

ATA Carnet can be used for trade fair items, professional equipment, product samples and transit and postal traffic.

Shipping and accompanying documents

Standard and:

a) Commercial invoices, in English with all standard information including the country of origin, a precise description of the goods, gross and net weight, legally binding signature etc. (Chamber of Industry and Commerce).

b) Certificates of origin are not required.

c) Bills of lading uncertified. Order bills of lading are permissible if a notify address is indicated.

d) For postal items up to 20 kg: 1 international dispatch note, 1 customs declaration in English.

e) Packing list recommended.