Sri Lanka to blacklist firms violating Customs law

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan exporters and importers who break the rules will be blacklisted for life once better systems that improve surveillance and speed up clearance are put in place, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake warned.

He said it is only 10-15 percent of the trade who on a daily basis are known to be trying to abuse the system for their own short term benefit.

“Our revenue collected is far less than what we anticipated,” he told the annual general meeting of the Import Section of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. “We are trying to correct the situation.

“Only 10-15 percent are ruining the process. Once the new systems are put in place anyone caught violating the rules will be blacklisted for life.”

Action is being taken to improve Customs valuation of cargo and scanning of containers so that disputes are reduced and clearance speeded up, Karunanayake said.

Although the government is trying to correct the situation it does not see the same kind of urgency among the trade, Karunanayake said

In the past six months the new government has improved the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and made the bureaucracy more responsive to the needs of business, he said.

(Colombo/July 18, 2015)

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