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Importers allowed to bring goods on shorter credit periods



In the coming weeks, clearance procedures are going to allow imported goods requiring supplier credit to be allowed with credit periods shorter than 180 days. The imported items will still require that the supplier provide credit for the item but the controls will be amended to allow for shorter credit cycles.

Department of Imports and Exports Control Controller General, Damayanthi Karunaratne noted that the economic fallout from COVID-19 necessitated the need for import controls but that these controls would be somewhat relaxed in the period ahead.

Rules for items needing supplier credit will be amended to allow for importation with credit periods shorter than 180 days. Other controls will also be loosened. Karunaratne was speaking at National Chamber recent webinar.

Certain widely imported items like freezer trucks, televisions, and auto spare parts are to have looser import controls. Items that have been put on the credit list but have been cleared on a payment basis can be cleared on the payment of a considerable fine under the discretion of the trade declarations committee.

Palm oil imports will be allowed through an import license system on the advice of the Industries Minister and the BOI.

Raw materials for local manufacturing are allowed so long as there is local value addition of 35%.

New gazette notifications are going to be drafted to allow for certain foreign standards and certification to be recognized by the Sri Lanka Import and Export Department.

License fees of the Department of Import And Export Control which have not been revised for multiple years are to be revised upwards. No information on allowing the importation of tiles has been officially communicated to the department of import and export. Ceramic squatting pans and bathroom fittings will be allowed on a credit basis.

Customs Superintendent, Indunil Udaya said that there is soon going to be a scanning machine at the exports division to reduce the physical examination of containers.

“If there are suspicions on a particular container there will no longer be a need to open the container. Non-invasive examination procedures can be undertaken. We are going to minimize human intervention because of the pandemic situation.”

“Once you upload the documents online you can’t upload them again, even if there is a requirement to upload further documents for clarification, you then have to come to customs physically with the documentation.”

An import-control license has to be debited with customs to clear goods. There is no online system but on an ad-hoc basis, customs officers will accept documents remitted via Whatsapp.

Customs Superintendent C. P. G. Punchihewa said that Customs Declarations are now completely submitted online.

Importers who fail to submit all the requisite documentation will have to come physically and submit the additional documentation.


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U.S. confident SL would ensure required facilitation for U.S. investors



Sri Lankan government has pledged to address the pending policy issues and I am confident that once the pandemic subsides, concrete efforts will begin to improve ease of doing business and ensure the required facilitation for US investors, Martin Kelly, Charge d’ Affairs of the Embassy of the United States of America in Sri Lanka said recently speaking at the Sri Lanka Invest Forum 2021 held virtually through June 7-9, 2021

“Sri Lanka was among the first countries in the region to open its economy and offers the highest standards of living among other advanced indicators in South Asia. Over the last seventeen years, the country continued to transition from an agriculture commodity based economy to become world leader in textile and apparel, a major exporter of IT and communication related services and of course a world class destination for international tourists,” he said.

“Promoting trade and investment opportunities is one of the embassy’s top priorities, and a vital component of our efforts to encourage private sector led development and toward stronger ties between the two countries,” he said.

Kelly said that the government of Sri Lanka has promoted pro-business policies including tax benefits, to attract the U.S. and other foreign direct investments.



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ComBank donates ICU beds to Kegalle Teaching Hospital



Commercial Bank Chairman Justice K. Sripavan and Managing Director S. Renganathan with representatives of the Bank and the Kegalle Hospital

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has donated three Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds to the Teaching Hospital Kegalle, which receives over 80,000 admissions and 350,000 clinic visits, annually. The donation was made following a request from the hospital and will help it to provide seamless healthcare services to prevent non-pandemic related morbidities and mortalities while also treating patients who are COVID-19 positive.

The CSR Trust of the Bank has already gifted medical equipment and gear including Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits, face masks, surgical masks, hand sanitisers, Slit lamps, pulse oximeters, multipara monitors and oxygen concentrators to over 16 government hospitals. Commercial Bank also made a monetary donation to the National COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund set up by the government last year.

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Trading activity gets slower among retail investors



Lankem Ceylon Rights Issue undersubscribed.

By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

Stock trading at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) was marginally positive yesterday and the number of retail investor participation was lower compared to previous trading days. Index heavy LOLC group which accounted for more than 30 percent of the turnover, contributed 20 points to the All Share Price Index, stock market analysts said.

Both indices moved upwards. All Share Price Index was up by 35.75 points and S&P SL20 up by 2.01 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.74 billion sans a single crossing. In the retail market top six companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were LOLC Rs 510 million (1.28 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 197 million (4.1 million shares traded), Melstacorp Rs 137 million (2.6 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 71.5 million (11.3 million shares traded), Windforce Rs 68.2 million (3.5 million shares traded) and Hayleys Holdings Rs 54.8 million (730,000 shares traded).

Index heavy LOLC, which contributed 20 points to the All Share Price Index, appreciated its share price by Rs 18.75 or 4.85 percent. Its share price started trading at Rs 386.25 and at the end of the day it moved up to Rs 405.

A pioneer in renewable energy, Vidullanka PLC has successfully completed raising additional capital of Rs. 253 million to fuel its expansion drive in the solar power sphere.

Lankem Ceylon Plc, Rs. 677 million worth Rights Issue has been undersubscribed. When the issue closed the Company managed to draw only subscriptions for 17.6 million shares worth Rs. 352.3 million. The original plan was to issue 33.85 million shares at Rs. 20 each aiming at raising Rs. 677 million. The basis was one new ordinary share for every one share held. Funds were to be raised to augment working capital requirements.

During the day 67.9 million share volumes changed hands in 17564 share transactions.

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