Tax, Customs & Insurance

Customs & Taxes

Shipping to Sri Lanka

Clearance Process

All shipments crossing international borders must be cleared through Customs in Srilanka prior to being delivered to the recipient. Unless the sender specified a particular agent, we submit shipments to Customs and other regulatory agencies. It is the sender’s responsibility to provide the necessary and correct documentation. Shipments that are not standard products may require more transit time. If shipments are held by Customs because of incorrect or missing documentation we may first attempt to notify the recipient.

Clearance Process

When you sent a shipment to Sri Lanka, clearance through Customs depends on whether you’re shipping:

  • Documents with no commercial value
  • Dutiable goods

For all the shipments where clearance is required, Sri Lanka Customs Authority requires Value Added Tax (VAT) and Port and Aviation Levy (currently at 1%) for all non-document shipments. Depending on the commodity, duties and taxes will also be added prior to release. Please note that Personal shipments of over LKR 10,000 (CIF) in value will be detained at Customs and require a VAT registration number and formal clearance.

If shipments are valued at over US $1,000, a transaction or bank endorsement certificate is required for Customs clearance.


For the Srilanka Shipping, required documentation varies according to the following factors:

  • Whether you are shipping documents with no Declared value. These shipments require only the fully completed Waybill/form.
  • If you are shipping documents with a Declared value or dutiable goods, we require a completed Waybill/form and a Commercial Invoice.
  • If you are shipping non-hazardous chemicals containing alcohol you need to submit the recipient's import license and documentation of the composition of the chemicals.

As a freight forwarding company, we don’t provide Insurance for personal effects. In order to protect the goods and their value, it’s advisable to take insurance covering the loss, damage and theft. Contact our office for more information about the insurance.

Once the insurance is taken, kindly forward the insurance details to staff.

Frequently Asked Questions on Customs
What would be the Customs value for duty calculation?
What would be my Import duty?
When should I submit the Import Entry?
What are the customs charges ?
How do I pay (Payment instructions, E-Payment facility)?
Will my consignment be subjected for examination ?

Shipping Insurance

Should you get Insurance?

Ships across the world transported an average of £8.5 billion worth of cargo every day, and for 99.99% of containers, they did it safely and effectively. However, nothing is without risk, including moving your goods across the world. So for peace of mind all you need to do is to get some international shipping insurance.

Things to Consider

It is better to cut down your possessions that you want to ship to items that you think are not replaceable or are too valuable to replace.

Types of marine cargo insurance
  • All-Risk: covers all your goods from potential catastrophes – within reason
  • Named Perils: only covers possessions which you specially name on the form
  • Total Loss Only: only kicks in when an entire vessel and its cargo is lost
  • Single Coverage: covers a one-time shipment
  • Open Coverage: covers multiple shipments over a specific length of time
  • General Average Coverage: if any cargo on the ship – or the whole ship, for that matter – is lost, your insurer will stump up your part of the joint costs
  • Warehouse-to-Warehouse Coverage: you’ll be insured from the moment your goods enter the first warehouse to when you pick them up from the destination warehouse
Do you need Cargo Insurance?

international shipping insurance is a small expense to protect against the possibility that you could lose everything. Ex: For port-to-port transportation of household goods worth £40,000, you would pay between £240 and £1,600, definitely not a small sum, but worth it to rest easy in the knowledge that your crucial and sentimentally important items are safe.