Customs Regulations

Posted on 04-Apr-2022


Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Passport with residence visa
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Packing list
  • Detailed inventory
  • Insurance certificate
  • Duty free clearance certificate (if applicable)
  • Import license (if applicable)
  • Bank guarantee (if applicable)

Specific Information

  • The owner of the goods should be present for Customs clearance in Sri Lanka.In absence of the owner of the goods, a registered (legalized) Power of Attorney must be submitted with a copy of the owner of the goods’ passport.
  • All shipments are subject to Customs inspection.
  • It is important that the cargo arrives after the owner of the goods has obtained a residence visa.
  • Documents should be received by the destination agent at least 7 days prior to shipment arrival.Full-container-load and air shipments take approximately 3-4 business days for Customs clearance provided all documents are received by the destination agent in advance of shipment.
  • All applicable fees must be made prior to clearance of the shipment.
  • On the detailed inventory, all electrical items and furniture should be individually priced and the total value should not exceed USD $1000.00 per owner of the goods, according to the assess value by the Customs authority, the duty is payable if it exceeds the given amount.
  • Only one electrical item of any kind is permitted.
  • Refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and home theaters are not considered household goods.
  • Diplomats can only import duty-free if clearance certificate is produced. 

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Certificate of title / registration
  • Purchase receipt
  • Appropriate application forms (contact the destination agent for correct form)


Specific Information

  • Vehicle must be right-hand drive.
  • There are many conditions under which a motor vehicle may be imported.It is essential that an owner of the goods contact the destination agent to verify the correct applicable form and required vehicle criteria for import.


Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Import permit


Specific Information

  • Authorization from the Director General of the Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH) must be obtained prior to the import of a live animal.
  • Pets are subject to examination upon arrival.
  • Pets accompanied by their owners are easier to clear than pets traveling via cargo; if a pet travels by cargo, a tax identification number (TIN) may be necessary.
  • The import permit must be obtained at least 2 weeks prior to importation from the Director General, Department of Animal Production and Health and valid for 90 days from the date of issue.
  • Dogs and cats are subject to a quarantine period of 30 days in the owner’s residence, identified on the Quarantine Surveillance Agreement. The owner of the goods’ full address and telephone number must be identified on the form.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Satellites, remote control equipment, telephones and fax machines need special approval must be obtained prior to shipment arrival.An operation manual must accompany each item.


Prohibited Items

  • Narcotics
  • Pornographic materials
  • Anti-religious materials

Consignment Instructions

Recommended:  Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.