Are you a local business holder hoping to reach out and sell your products to the foreign market? Better yet, an entrepreneur thinking of starting your own business by importing goods and retailing them here to your local customer base?
Whichever category you may belong to, to get your business flowing you’ll need to sign up with the Sri Lanka Customs Department. Wondering how you can get yourself enrolled? Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through the process!
STEP 1: OBTAIN THE APPLICATION
In order to be registered under Sri Lanka Customs, you are required to submit an application form titled as the “Importer Exporter Registration Application”. This application consists of a number of mandatory fields that need to be filled out (for eg: Name of Business, Address, Details of Directors/Partners)
From where do you obtain the application?
Normally you’d have to visit the online website of the Customs Department in order to obtain your application, but in this case, to make things easier, we’ve attached a soft copy of the sheet
here.* Click here to download.
STEP 2: GET ENROLLED IN THE ASYCUDA SYSTEM
What is the ASYCUDA system?
Simply put, the ASYCUDA (Automated System for Customs Data) system is an integrated customs management system that has been set up for international trade and transport operations. It consists of information on products that are being imported or exported.
How do you enroll?
You will need to upload company/personal details along with photographs of all partners/individuals to the Sri Lanka Customs ASYCUDA system through a Customs House Agent. A more detailed version of the process has been attached here for your reference.* Click here to download.
STEP 3: COLLECT ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
Wondered if the process was to be limited to a single application? Think again! Once the application has been filled out, you will need to obtain a number of different documents and certifications that will need to be coupled with your application.
Here’s what you’ll need if you’re a registering as;
A Limited Liability
STEP 4: TAKE A FEW COPIES
For all original documents, you will need to hand in photocopies as well when handing in your registration, so remember to obtain copies of all the documents you have collected.
STEP 5: SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION
Once you’ve collected all the necessary details, you can handin your application to the Sri Lanka Customs Department. And there you have it, a simple outline of a somewhat complicated process. Still having doubts? Then this “frequently asked questions” section we’ve compiled for you is bound to prove useful! Anything else you’d want to clarify? Let us know in the comments below!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is it mandatory to stamp the application?
A. Yes, it is. You will be required to create a rubber company seal for this.
Q. How long does registration take once a duly completed application is submitted?
A. Once you have submitted your application to the Customs Department, you will be registered within 24 hours.
Q. Is the Gramasewaka certification mandatory?
A. Except for BOI Companies situated in zones like that of Katunayake, Biyagama, Meerigama, Koggala, Horana, Pallakele etc, the Gramasevaka certification is indeed mandatory.
Q. Who is a Declarant?
A. As normal importers or exporters are unable to deal with the Customs directly, there is a registered personnel who themselves are involved in cargo clearing or forwarding matters. These individuals are identified as “Declarants” or “Customs House Agents”. (If you have not selected any declarant at the time of registration you can ignore that field)