Sri Lanka Customs deems import restrictions on vehicles ‘a hindrance’ to revenue

Owing to the various import restrictions imposed on several items, including vehicles, Sri Lanka Customs has raised concerns about reaching their targeted revenue.

The matter was brought to light during a meeting of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Economic and Physical Plans held recently under the chairmanship of MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, focusing on the contributions Sri Lanka Customs can make towards increasing state revenue.
Accordingly, Customs officials highlighted that they will not be able to achieve their targeted revenue for as long as the said import restrictions are in place, adding that with these restrictions in place, revenue of Rs. 783 billion is forecast for this year.

They further noted that nearly 20% of their revenue is obtained through taxes collected from vehicle imports.

In a bid to further illustrate this, officials belonging to Sri Lanka Customs noted that tax revenue of Rs. 923 billion was gained in 2018, which marks the highest revenue gained between 2014 and 2022, from which Rs. 194 billion was collected through vehicle taxes.

Thus, they further noted that in the event the import restrictions on vehicles are relaxed this month, a total of Rs 150 billion can be earned over the next six months from the taxes imposed on vehicle imports alone.