Rules and Regulations

TRADE

Development of Business

Sri Lanka offers lucrative opportunities for doing business, being a strategically located South Asian nation with the GDP growth of ~3% for 2017. In addition to the untapped domestic market potential which is over 20 mn people, Sri Lanka is considered a doorway to the massive Indian market located just a few Kilometers off its’ coast. India is one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world and it is expected see a huge expansion of its middle class – which means a huge opportunity for many businesses. To facilitate Sri Lanka as a hub of trade, comprehensive trade agreements exist between Sri Lanka and its South Asian neighbours.

After the cessation of a decades long conflict and liberalization of the economy, Sri Lanka is now experiencing stable economic conditions and starting a business is now an easier task when compared to even a few years ago. Also, with the opening up fresh opportunities, businesses in multiple sectors are experiencing rapid growth especially IT, Tourism and Manufacturing.

Logistic Support 
       
There are many government and non-government organisations in Sri Lanka to do logistics for traders.
 

ORGANIZATION........ 

............SECTOR..................

LOGISTIC SERVICE

CONTACTS 

WEBSITE


Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka  


One to one assistance and provide linkage for particular sector  


Secretary General/CEO:
Mr. Ajith D. Perera
Tel: +94 77 481 4087
Direct: +94 11 236 6598
Fax: + 94 11 236 6901
Email: sg@fccisl.lk
              


http://www.fccisl.lk/

 
  The Board of Investment

 
  General cargo services
  Warehousing
  Enter port trade and                  bonding  facility
  Multi Country   Consolidation

 
 Transportation   and 
warehouse 

 
 
Duty Manager – JCT 

  Tel: +94 71 4816898 
  Email: info@slpa.lk

 
 http://www.slpa.lk/


Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs


Coordination with international agencies and mobilization of foreign resources for economic development



Advisor to The Ministry:
Mr. R. Paskaralingam
Tel: +94 112 484 820 
Email:rafiya.annis@gmail.com 


http://www.mnpea.gov.lk

 
 Tourism Development   Authority

 
  Simplified and                         lstandardized Frontier       lFormalities to facilitate     ltravel  into country


Transportation 

1
l
Tel:
+94112426800/0112426900
  Fax: +94112 440001/ 2426984
  Email: admin@sltda.gov.lk or 
  udanaweb@gmail.com

  
  http://www.sltda.lk/
  index.html


Export Development Board


Prominent Export Hub for Innovative Products & Services



Export Promotion Officer: 
Ms. Dhanushka Ruwanpathirana
Service:Education, Entrepot Trade
Tel: +94-11-230-0705 / 11 Ext.281 
Email:dhanushka@edb.gov.lk

 
http://www.srilanka
business.com/


Development Strategies and International Trade


Guide to do   a quality investment and increase the market access 


Transport, Land and warehouse 


CoordinatingSecretary:
Ms. Shanthi Bandara
Tel: +94 11 2395607
Mobile: +94 777630729 



http://modsit.gov.lk/



Import-Export

Import-Export

Sri Lanka is a vibrant trading hub and sees an active trade in both import and export of a wide variety of goods and services. A significant point in this history is the opening up of the closed economic policy of the GoSL in 1977. Since then, the economy has been open for international trade and commerce. 

In September 2018, the GoSL with the assistance of the World Bank launched a website so-called Sri Lanka Trade Information Portal (SLTIP) as a national single window to provide information regarding import and export from 43 Sri Lankan authorities. The launch of SLTIP is the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement as well as the effort to life up the ease of doing business rank of Sri Lanka. For further details of SLTIP, please click here.

Import

Sri Lanka is a net importer of goods and imports a wide variety of goods and services from around the globe. Its import volumes have steadily increased over the years with India and China being the main sources of imports, high level details of which are given below:

Unit : US Dollar thousand

Exporters

Imported value in 2013

Imported value in 2014

Imported value in 2015

Imported value in 2016

Imported value in 2017

World

17,930,809

19,244,461

18,967,231

19,500,757

21,316,200

India

3,125,806

3,977,635

4,268,480

3,824,968

4,494,066

China

2,959,702

3,414,298

3,727,432

4,270,756

4,189,427

United Arab Emirates

1,224,379

1,755,925

1,073,080

1,067,273

1,563,891

Singapore

1,798,377

1,270,052

922,807

1,030,316

1,292,077

Japan

669,555

941,086

1,387,668

949,829

1,038,078

United States of America

352,371

493,224

470,778

539,987

813,616

Malaysia

569,531

715,781

511,358

642,030

641,100

Thailand

428,019

462,024

497,185

514,463

518,323

Taipei, Chinese

454,587

443,303

459,256

495,929

481,844

Hong Kong, China

429,394

351,168

379,672

465,914

438,955

Germany

384,194

327,234

346,681

435,010

400,460

Indonesia

440,793

590,759

434,096

379,081

371,069

Pakistan

378,702

279,581

296,941

304,125

348,903

(Sources: International Trade Centre)


In 2017, Sri Lanka has maintained an import relationship with countries around the globe.

  • India is the leading source of imports to Sri Lanka which amounted to $4.5 billion or 21.1% of its overall imports. The main items imported from India are :

              1. Mineral fuels including oil: $695.2 million

              2. Vehicles: $537.8 million

              3. Iron and steel: $292.5 million

              4. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $291.7 million

              5. Cereals: $241.4 million

              6. Cotton: $232.8 million

              7. Machinery: $218.1 million

              8. Pharmaceuticals: $208.5 million

              9. Knitted or crocheted fabric: $132.6 million

            10. Arms, ammunition: $121.2 million

  • China's is the second largest source of imports to Sri Lanka, amounting to $4.2 billion or 19.7% of its overall imports, comprising of :

  1. Electronic equipment: $684.2 million

  2. Machinery: $554 million

  3. Knitted or crocheted fabric: $307.9 million

  4. Cotton: $257.1 million

  5. Ships, boats: $238.1 million

  6. Iron and steel: $214.5 million

  7. Man-made staple fibers: $212.2 million

  8. Iron or steel products: $161.4 million

  9. Plastics: $115.1 million

10. Vehicles: $103.6 million

  • The United Arab Emirates' is the leading source of fuel imports to Sri Lanka and that trade relationship amounted to $1.6 billion or 7.3% of its overall imports.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $1.1 billion

  2. Gems, precious metals: $253.7 million

  3. Copper: $44.4 million

  4. Sugar: $29.7 million

  5. Plastics: $25.6 million

  6. Aluminum: $18.9 million

  7. Iron and steel: $13.3 million

  8. Fish: $12.8 million

  9. Paper: $11 million

10. Fruits, nuts: $8.4 million

                Other notable import trading partners are as below :

                    o   Singapore - $1.3 billion or 6.1% of its overall imports.

                    o   Japan's - $1 billion or 4.9% of its overall imports.

                    o   America's - $813.6 million or 3.8% of its overall imports.

                    o   Malaysia's - $641.1 million or 3% of its overall imports.

                    o   Thailand's - $518.3 million or 2.4% of its overall imports.


(Source: International Trade Centre)

Export

To date, Sri Lanka maintains strong export performance with trading partners around the world. Exports in Sri Lanka averaged USD 703.18  Million from 2003 until 2016. The traditional agricultural based exports of Tea, Coconut and Rubber related products have now given way to garment related exports which accounts for over 50% of all exports. Although not the largest contributor any longer, Tea and related exports account for nearly 20% of Sri Lanka’s exports while Rubber and Coconut related produce also still contributes to overall export volumes. Other notable exports include Spices, Gems and Fish related exports. 

Sri Lanka maintains strong export links around the world, with its main export partners being the United States, United Kingdom, India, Germany,  Belgium and Italy. The country is pursuing an ambitious target of $ 20 billion in export earnings by 2020. However, one criticism the export strategy of Sri Lanka has been experiencing to date is the lack of diversity seen in exports with a few products taking the lion’s share. Thus, the opportunity is ripe for investors to diversify the export offerings of Sri Lanka by way of trade deals. (Further reading :The performance of Export in Sri Lanka )

All products that are exported to the international market are duty free. Enterprises should obtain the Certificate of Conformity (COC) from the Engineering Approvals Department/Regional Office or the respective Zone office before effecting the first export. The relevant application form 45/FO/IS/35 could be downloaded.Please click here to download the application form.

The Export performance of Sri Lanka has been steadily improving, with over 11.7Bn of exports taking place in 2017 based on International Trade Centre statistics.

Unit : US Dollar thousand

Importers

Exported value in 2013

Exported value in 2014

Exported value in 2015

Exported value in 2016

Exported value in 2017

World

10,004,879

11,295,486

10,439,730

10,545,893

11,741,037

United States of America

2,495,844

2,723,250

2,801,469

2,810,220

2,920,210

United Kingdom

1,076,692

1,117,947

1,028,277

1,045,080

1,043,182

India

543,121

733,403

710,404

753,481

789,586

Germany

467,602

503,686

477,905

509,881

547,125

Italy

510,226

614,761

434,214

428,902

531,652

China

121,577

177,560

304,542

215,493

430,444

Belgium

463,153

318,848

282,314

338,187

347,479

United Arab Emirates

236,477

293,566

285,325

292,867

301,179

Turkey

191,425

259,881

180,727

154,894

234,955

Singapore

100,000

160,938

84,756

115,468

233,669


As said above Sri Lanka exports a variety of goods and services to a number of countries, further details of which are as follows :

  • Sri Lanka's exports to America amounted to $2.9 billion or 24.9% of its overall exports in 2017 . The main items which were traded were :

            1. Knit or crochet clothing: $1.2 billion

            2. Clothing (not knit or crochet): $933.2 million

            3. Rubber: $270.3 million

            4. Coffee, tea, spices: $66.6 million

            5. Fish: $66.5 million

            6. Machinery: $37.4 million

            7. Gems, precious metals: $34.1 million

            8. Other chemical goods: $25.7 million

            9. Vegetable/fruit preparations: $23.5 million

           10. Plastics: $22.5 million

  • To another main partner, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka's exports over $1 billion worth of goods, amounting to 8.9% of its overall exports, comprised mainly of :

            1. Knit or crochet clothing: $410.4 million

            2. Clothing (not knit or crochet): $391.8 million

            3. Rubber: $27.9 million

            4. Other textiles, worn clothing: $25.6 million

            5. Footwear: $20.5 million

            6. Coffee, tea, spices: $18.9 million

            7. Vegetable/fruit preparations: $12.1 million

            8. Vehicles: $11.9 million

            9. Fish: $11.5 million

          10. Felt, yarn, twine, cordage: $9.1 million

  • Sri Lanka's vast and fast growing neighbour India is another vital export market which has seen a steady uptick in trade and in 2017 Sri Lanka exported $789.6  million worth of goods (or 6.7% of its overall exports) to India.

            1. Coffee, tea, spices: $101.9 million

            2. Mineral fuels including oil: $85.7 million

            3. Food waste, animal fodder: $63.4 million

            4. Arms, ammunition: $47 million

            5. Fruits, nuts: $39.7 million

            6. Electronic equipment: $37.9 million

            7. Woodpulp: $35.5 million

            8. Rubber: $27 million

            9. Copper: $26.2 million

          10. Knitted or crocheted fabric: $25.9 million

              Other important trading partners of Sri Lanka’s exports for the year 2017 are as  follows :

                  o   Germany - $547.1 million or 4.7% of its overall exports.

                  o   Italy - $531.7 million or 4.5% of its overall exports.

                  o   China - $430.4 million or 3.7% of its overall exports.

                  o   Belgium - $347.5 million or 3.0% of its overall exports.

                  o   United Arab Emirates - $301.2 million or 2.6% of its overall exports.

                  o   Turkey - $235 million or 2% of its overall exports.

                  o   Singapore - $233.7 million or 2% of its overall exports.

                  o   Netherlands - $221.2 million or 1.9% of its overall exports.


(Source: International Trade Centre)

Export procedure of Sri Lanka: Further more reading click here.

Method of Available Trade Payment 

Information on Payments for Cross Border Trade

Import / Export

There are several methods for making payments for export/import goods:

  • Letters of credit (LC’s)
  • Documentary collections (documents against payment (DP)
  • Documents against acceptance (DA) terms)
  • Advance payment (AP) terms.

In addition to the above, goods can also be exported to Sri Lanka on the basis of consignment-accounts. Some common items imported under this method include stationary, books and magazines and ornamental fish which are brought into the country but are re-exported.

In general, letters of credit are valid for up to 365 days in Sri Lanka and imports/exports based on advance payment terms are allowed as well. The most widely used ways to make  advanced payments are bank draft, mail transfer, or telegraphic transfer. Goods for which advance payment has been made should be received by the importer within 90 days of affecting the remittance. 

The documentation generally requires by commercial banks for trade transactions are basic documents required by commercial banks for imports/exports include 

  • A valid invoice
  • A valid insurance certificate (where applicable)
  • Transport documents.

Each trade/sector will be different, and depending on the product, the mode of payment and each individual transaction, other documents such as certificates of origin, inspection certificates, and packing lists may also be required.

In general, there is no distinction in documentation required for air cargo as opposed to sea cargo – and they require the same general inputs. All shipping documents in relation to imports made on DP or DA terms should be forwarded by the supplier's bank or by the supplier to a commercial bank in Sri Lanka for release to the importer of goods. In the event the original documents are not received on time, the importer, at the discretion of the bank, may obtain a shipping guarantee and may submit copies of these documents for certification by the bank for clearance of the goods. The importer should arrange the original shipping documents to be received by the bank concerned within 30 days from the date of certification of the copies. 

After valid documentation has been submitted to the relevant bank, for customs clearing purposes the importer has to submit relevant customs declaration forms to the Sri Lanka Customs. If the import took place on AP basis, adequate proof such as a bank confirmation will be required to release the goods. For goods imported on a consignment-account basis, the released by customs will be on the submission of clearance documents.

(Source: Export Development Board Sri Lanka)

Prohibited and Restricted Items

Forbidden for Export from Sri Lanka36
  • Dangerous goods as defined by International Airline Ticketing Academy (IATA)
  • Live animals 
  • Explosives 
  • Mahogany and ebony wood items 
  • Narcotics 
  • Pornography 
  • Anti- religion materials 
  • Indian and Pakistani currencies

Restricted for Export from Sri Lanka37

  • Human body parts require approval from the Ministry of Health 
  • Liquor requires approval from the Department of Excise 
  • Artifacts require the approval from the National Museum 
  •  Sand requires the approval from the Ministry of Sands and Minerals 
  • Weaponry and ammunition- with permission only 
  • Cultural artefacts 
  • Plants, animals any part thereof and food stuff 
  • Medicines, for personal use only, in original packaging and accompanied by the prescription and doctor’s note. 
  • Currency – if the sum in foreign currency notes exceeds the equivalent of US$ 5,000, the entirety of the sum must be declared. 
Forbidden for Import to Sri Lanka38

  •  Cash and Cash Equivalents 
  • Dangerous goods as defined by IATA 
  • Furs 
  • Narcotics 
  • Pornography 
  • Anti- religion materials 
  • Indian and Pakistani currencies 

Restrictions for Import to Sri Lanka 39

  • Pre- alerts are required for jewelry, gold, precious metals and precious stones shipments of value over US$ 1000. 
  • Medical Products and prescription drugs require approval from the Cosmetic Drug Device Authority and Import License. 
  • Wireless and mobile telephones require approval from the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission. 
  • Pets – import required obtainable from nearest Embassy or Mission 
  • Weaponry and ammunition - with permission only. Contact the nearest embassy for more details. 
  • Cultural artefacts 
  • Plants, animals any part thereof and foodstuff. For more details please contact nearest Embassy 
  • Medicines, for personal use only, in original packaging and accompanied by the prescription and doctor’s note. 
  • Currency – any local or foreign currency exceeding equivalent of US $15,000 needs to be declared. At the time of leaving the country for travel purposes, a citizen of Sri Lanka or a person resident in Sri Lanka may carry up to 20,000 Sri Lankan rupees in the form of currency notes to meet local expenses. Such notes shall be brought back to Sri Lanka upon return. 

Trend Analysis of Bank Interest Rate Fluctuation

Sri Lanka – Treasury Bill Rates 

( Source : https://www.cbsl.lk/eResearch/Modules/RD/SearchPages/Indicators_GovernmentSecurities.aspx )

Commercial Inter-Bank Lending Rates in Sri Lanka, please refer the followinghttps://www.cbsl.lk/eResearch/Modules/RD/SearchPages/CMB_LendingAndDeposit.aspx


Taxation of Import – Export in Sri Lanka

Export Cess

Export Cess should be paid for applicable items at the rates specific to the relevant HS code, specified under the customs tariff.

Imports -Taxes Applicable for Clearance of Items

Value Added Tax

Value Added Tax should be paid either upfront or on deferred basis by BOI Registered companies on their Imports, if not exempted under the Customs Tariff.

Deferment of VAT

·      Deferred facility is granted only to holders of permanent VAT registration certificates

·      Facility under 22(vii) of the VAT act is given by the Inland Revenue Department, during the project  implementation period of the enterprise.

·      Forms for registration of VAT deferred facility could be obtained from the VAT unit or downloaded from below.

1.         Application for deferment of VAT

2.         Application for Irrevocable Power of Attorney

3.         Applicationfor letter of Guarantee Form 1

4.         Application for letter of Guarantee form 2 

Port and Airport Development Levy (PAL)

Raw material imported for processing and export is exempted from the payment of PAL. Payment is applicable for all other imports including capital goods.

Raw material imported for processing and export is exempted from the payment of PAL.PAL is deferred (on a Bank Guarantee) or exempted as applicable during implementation period for projects qualified for tax concessions under section 16D or 17A of Inland Revenue Act.

Nations Building Tax (NBT)

Raw material imported for processing and export is exempted from the payment of NBT. Payment is applicable for all other imports including capital goods.

Excise Duty (XID)

Payable on capital goods if applicable under the customs tariff

EDB Import Cess (EIC)

Payable for items other than items used for processing / manufacturing for re-export as per the customs tariff

Submission of Import Documents

Import documents should be submitted electronically through ASYWORLD using the DTI (Direct Trader Input) facility. The following is facilitated through this system.

·      Import details could be transmitted to the service centre 24 hrs and 07 days of the week

·      Saving on cost and time in documentation

·      Accuracy in recovery of taxes

Re-Imports

BOI also permits enterprises to re-import cargo exported/re-exported for the following reasons

·     Machinery and Equipment re-exported for repairs and modifications

·     Finished goods exported overseas could be permitted to be re-imported, if returned, and cleared within a period of 02 year

·     Items exported for outward processing (Embroidery, Printing, etc)

You should make a request to the relevant service centre, seeking permission for the re-import. The relevant form 45/FO/IS/32 could be downloaded.

Further more details please click here

(Source: BOI Sri Lanka: http://www.investsrilanka.com)

Importing Goods into Sri Lanka: Customs

Guidance and customs regulations on importing goods can be found on the Sri Lanka Customs website and the HS code finder of the Sri Lanka Customs can be used to pinpoint the relevant HS code of goods entering Sri Lanka.

Tariffs link Please click here.

Cargo Clearing Process

ASYCUDA CUSDEC (Customs Declaration) has to be prepared in 4 copies (Warrant copy, Delivery Copy, Exchange Copy, Party's Copy). Cusdec can be processed either at Customs Long Room (Katunayake), or Importers office to whom the DTI facility has been given.

Prepared CUSDEC should be forwarded at the Long room along with following Documents:

  • Two bank stamped invoices/ packing list
  • Goods arrival notice/ Air Way Bill/ House Way Bill
  • Other documents needed (if necessary) mentioned below are a few restricted items that needed Licenses/ approval etc.
  • Phones and accessories
      • TRC (Telecommunication Regulatory Commission)
      • ICL (Import Control License)
  • Medicines and Medical Equipment
      • NMRA (National Medicines Regulatory Authority)
      • ICL (Import Control License)
  • Rifles, guns and other weapons
      • Ministry of Defence approval
      • ICL (Import Control License)
  • Live plants
      • Plant Quarantine
  • Vegetables and fruits
      • IFIU (Imported Food Inspection Unit)
  • Live Animals
      • Animal Quarantine
      • ICL (Import Control License)
  • All Food Items
      • IFIU (Imported Food Inspection Unit)
  • Cosmetics
      • CDDA (Cosmetics Drugs Devices Authority)
  • Out boat Engines (more than 25 HP)/ Motor cycle engines (More than 250cc)
      • Ministry of Defence
      • ICL

For further information, please click here.   

Conduct Business Online in Sri Lanka

E-Commerce in Sri Lanka

A Policy Background

    E Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and E-Commerce: 

    • ·    There is a significant focus on boosting ecommerce by the GoSL, and the ICTA led Electronic Transactions Amendment Bill which was approved by the National Parliament in 2017 has harmonized electronic transactions legislation of the country with the UN Electronic Communication Convention (UN ECC), which is the international standard for e-Commerce legislation. It is worthy to note that Sri Lanka was one of the first countries in Asia to adopt this convention. Another act which are relevant to e-commerce in Sri Lanka is the Electronic Transactions Act No. 19 of 2006, which is based on the standards established by United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996) and the Model Law on Electronic Signatures (2001).

    • ·     E-commerce is growing significantly in Sri Lanka, fuelled by the high mobile/smartphone penetration providing internet access to the masses (Central Bank of Sri Lanka Annual Report 2017/18).  Per GoSL statistics, approximately one in four homes own a computer, and per the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRC) data, by June 2018 there are over 5Mn active mobile broadband subscribers in Sri Lanka which accounts for over 25% of the population.

    • ·    Due to the explosion of connected Sri Lankans, almost all major commercial banks (including state banks which historically have been very slow) have opened up online banking services and mobile banking services as well.

    • ·     The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has aided this effort in setting up LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd which provides the inter-bankclearing services. LankaClear has introduced a facility named The Common Electronic Fund Transfer Switch (CEFTS) which enables real time online electronic payments 24x7x365.

    • ·     Internet based payment systems, first introduced into Sri Lanka in 1999, has shown significant growth and per the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, there is a 50% growth of internet based payments in Q4 2017compared to Q4 2016, to reach over 600Bn LKR
    • ·    To supplement the online payment systems at the end of 2017, there are 12 licensed operators of Customer (Bank) Account based mobile payment systems and 2 licensed operators of mobile phone based e money systems from the two largest mobile phone companies in Sri Lanka (ez cash by Dialog Axiata and mcash by Mobitel). Mobile phone banking has seen a huge growth in 2017, reaching 12.5Bn LKR in Q4 which is a 225% jump from Q4 2016 and only slightly lower than the total value of 2016 which is 14.5Bn LKR. Further more... This growth in internet and mobile based payments augers well for growth of e-commerce in Sri Lanka.

    • ·     As at end 2017, Sri Lanka had 32 licensed debit card providers and 15 licensed credit card providers and transactions via credit cards grew ~13% for Q4 2017 compared to 2016, ending at over 50Bn LKR. Stamp duty on local transactions from credit cards was lifted in 2016, and at present only transactions which are made outside of Sri Lanka are taxed at 2.5%, again, a positive sign for e-commerce.

    • ·     Many global retail and B2B ecommerce sites such as Amazon, Ebay and Alibaba are available to Sri Lankans and payment systems such as PayPal are available as well but the functionality of PayPal is limited with regard to inward remittances. However, the CBSL has approved PayHere  which is a payment gateway connected to a commercial bank and it offers options for e-commerce merchants to receive money.

    • ·    E-commerce sites in other domains such as Tourism and Logistics are also very active in Sri Lanka. Sites such as Booking.com, Tripadvisor and Airbnb are active and growing and has even led to an outcry by the formal tourism sector and the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) for the GoSL to regulae eCommerce businesses. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) in its strategic plan for 2017-2020  has set itself a core objective (1 of 4) of “Embracing the Digital Age” which is a good sign for the development of ecommerce in that sector. Uber and its local rival PickMe are also spreading in Sri Lanka. Further, online retailers such as www.kapruka.com/ www.daraz.lkwww.wow.lk are growing with last mile delivery networks reaching the entire island.
    • E Commerce Intellectual Property Rights

            In Sri Lanka, eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights are protected under several laws: Evidence (Special Provisions) Act No.14 of 1995; The Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003; Electronic Transactions Act No. 19 of 2006 and the Computer Crimes Act No. 24 of 2007.An infringer who offers counterfeit products for sale online could be held liable under the Intellectual Property law.

    UN ECC & Electronic Transactions Act Amendments (2017)

         UN Electronic Communications Convention (UN ECC) – Negotiated (2001-05) and Adopted (23rdNov 2005) – Sri Lanka was signatory to ECC along with China & Singapore – Ratified on 7th July 2015 –application w.e.f1st Feb 2016.

          ETA Amendments (2017) –Greater confidence for e-Commerce – Definitions in ETA similar to UN ECC – “Location of Party’s business” (Not dependent on factors like domain address, location of servers and place where system is accessed) – Greater clarity for “dispatch & receipt of a communication” – Online Web based Sales –“Invitation to make offers” – Use of “automated message systems” for Contract formation – Ability to “correct input errors” – “Technology Neutral” framework for legal recognition of “e-Signatures”

          Broader Definition and Concepts –based on Article 9 (3) of UN ECC

          Payment for E-Commerce 

    •      Cash on Delivery is the most commonly used payment method in Sri Lanka as at the end of FY2017 still only ~1.5Mn credit cards were in circulation (Central Bank of Sri Lanka payment summary). Thus, a vast majority of eCommerce users in Sri Lanka prefer a simple cash on delivery (COD) payment model.The two licensed mobile cash providers, Ezcash & Mcash are also used as payment methods and cash transfer methods especially by the unbanked segments.
    •       Notwithstanding the relatively low credit card penetration, this is the most preferred method for purchases from overseas eCommerce merchants.  

          Mobile E-Commerce

          Mobile eCommerce is still relatively young being in its’ first decade of existence in Sri Lanka. But the steep growth curve of smartphones and mobile internet packages, this is expected to grow sharply in the near future.

          Digital Marketing

          Digital marketing is still young, but well understood and utilized albeit in pockets, and the use of text messaging is increasing in Sri Lanka. As with all digital tech in Sri Lanka, the high mobile phone penetration is driving the growth. It is worth knowing that Sri Lanka’s mobile phone connections number higher than its population, so this method reaches a wide audience. Also, with Facebook being widely used in Sri Lanka as its leading social media platform, a recent survey shows that marketing through Facebook has influenced 79 percent of the users to purchase the products.  Multiple forms of Social media marketing are being utilized in Sri Lanka and all experiencing growth.

           Major Buying Holidays

          There is no Black Friday (and such like buying festival) equivalent in Sri Lanka, however there is a spike in economic activity, especially retail buying during local New Year during April and Christmas holiday period in December.

          Social Media

          Facebook has gained a substantial footprint Sri Lanka, and per a figure released by the Sri Lanka Police, right now there are over 1.2 million locals on Facebook. Other social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are also used, but these are still used in niche segments with Facebook being the dominant platform.

      Payment Summary of Sri Lanka

      • ·       Sri Lanka is still a cash centric economy for retail purchases, with cash amounting to almost 600Bn LKR in circulation as at end 2017 per the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. (Further more)

      • ·    The most popular non cash payment system in Sri Lanka are cheques, with almost 45Bn LKR worth of cheques being cleared daily as an average for Q4 2017. As per the Central Bank, the island-wide minimum cut-off time for accepting cheques for T+1 clearing by participating institutions is 3.00 p.m. and proceeds of cleared cheques should be credited to the respective customer’s accounts by 2.30.p.m. on the following business day. Lanka Clear (Pvt) Ltd charges Rs. 2.50 per cheque from the paying bank for clearing.

      •       Inter bank payments in Sri Lanka happens via the Sri Lanka Interbank Payment (SLIP) System on T + 0 basis on each business day, for payment instructions submitted before the cut-off time specified by the respective banks with Lanka Clear (Pvt) Ltd charging LKR 3.50 per transaction and there is a limitation of LKR 50 as a maximum that can be charged from a customer performing a SLIPS operation. As at Q4 2017, on a daily basis SLIPS was transferring about LKR 7.5Bn in total.
      •       Credit cards make up the next biggest payment method, with about 55Bn LKR transacted in Q4 2017 and Debit cards accounting for about 36Bn LKR in the same period.

              Intellectual Property

            A  registered mark is a mark registered under the law and with National Intellectual Property office in Sri Lanka. It is first accepted for the publication in the Gazette. A period of 3 months is given to the public for opposition after the publication29. If it is accepted, the registration will become effective upon the payment of the registration fee. The registration is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of application and is renewable on the payment of the fee for a further period of 10 years.30

            A mark can be used even without registration. Unregistered marks can be protected under the unfair competition law or common law action for passing off. The marks, which are not inadmissible under sections 103 and 104 of the Intellectual Property Act No: 36 of 2003, can be registered31

            The Code of Intellectual Property Act No. 52 of 2003 embodies legislation relating to copyright, industrial design, patents, trademarks, trade names and unfair competition. Sri Lanka’s Intellectual Property Law, which is based on the WIPO model law for developing countries, has incorporated internationally accepted principles and concepts of intellectual property32