Sri Lanka Customs to speed up cargo clearance with ADB aid

ECONOMYNEXT –  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is helping Sri Lanka’s Customs to speed up cargo clearance by improving risk management systems that now result in up to 80 percent of shipments being targeted.

The ADB said it is giving technical assistance to Sri Lanka for studies to review the current risk management system in Sri Lanka, including the risk profiling and targeting criteria and its effectiveness.

The project will result in recommendations for a suitable framework, standard operating procedures, monitoring and review mechanisms, better coordination among all relevant regulatory agencies in managing risk, and the required organizational resources.

“Lack of a modern risk management system and other modern customs tools, combined with insufficient use of automated systems, lead to queuing of cargo traffic at the port,” the ADB said.

In recent years, the Sri Lanka Customs Department has introduced several measures such as risk management, a green lane program, and post-clearance audit to improve cargo clearance efficiency.

“However, these measures have not yielded the desired benefits as they have been implemented in a limited manner and have not been given full effect in their implementation,” the ADB said.

While risk management has been introduced, the risk rules are written in such a manner that 80 percent of the consignments are targeted.

The risk rules lead to a relatively high physical inspection rate with about 77 percent of the customs declarations taken up for examination, the ADB said in a report.

The inspection rate is also high since the other cross-border regulatory agencies such as quarantine and food safety check the consignments.

Export consignments are also subject to a significant level of checks.
(COLOMBO, 10 Octber, 2018)





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