Sri Lanka, India in Customs deal during Sirisena’s visit

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka and India are to sign a deal on Customs co-operation agreement during a visit by President Maithripala Sirisena to New Delhi starting Sunday.

The deal will pave the way for enhanced trade facilitation between the two neighbours and exchange of information and intelligence in Customs matters.

The agreement on ‘Co-operation and Mutual Assistance on Customs Matters’ between the two governments is aimed at making trade smoother and combating smuggling and fraud, government officials said.

Under the deal, both countries will provide each other assistance in prevention, investigation and combating of Customs offences and in facilitating trade.

The deal enables the two countries to provide each other intelligence and information on the movement of passengers and goods which will help to prevent and investigate Customs offences.

Information exchanged will be on new Customs law enforcement techniques, new trends, means and methods of committing Customs offences and on people suspected to have committed Customs offences, according to the agreement.
 
Under trade facilitation, the deal will ensure consistency of trade procedures and use of standards, use of information technology, co-operation among Customs and other border authorities and enhanced consultation among business communities.

Talks on the deal started last year. The Cabinet of Ministers Wednesday approved a draft of the agreement on a request by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake.