Sri Lanka Customs
No 40, Main Street,
Colombo 11, Sri Lanka.
Tele: +94 11 2445147
Fax: +94 11 2446364
Definition of Passenger's Baggage
Types of Passengers
In the Case of a passenger, who is ordinary resident in Sri Lanka (and is not a tourist) goods which such person brings accompanied or unaccompanied or purchased at any approved duty Free Shop upon arrival in Sri Lanka subject to the conditions specified here in after: -
that such goods are bona fide for his personal use or the use of a member or members of his family provided that the total quantity brought or purchased in respect of any single item is not a commercial quantity as determined by the Director General of Customs;
that such goods are brought by a passenger on his arrival in Sri Lanka or are landed within 30 days before or within 90 days after his arrival or within such further period as the Director General of Customs, may in the circumstances of each case, determine, or are purchased from an approved Duty Free Shop upon his arrival or are brought within 90 days of the First issue of a Resident Visa.
That such goods will not include the following:
In the case of a passenger who is a tourist, the personal effects which such person wears or brings with him on his arrival in Sri Lanka for his personal use but does not include goods which are;
goods imported or purchased at any Duty Free Shop purpose of sale or exchange;
goods which are the property of any person other than the passenger;
motor vehicle other than Motor cycles, Motor scooters and auto cycles with an engine capacity of 350cc or below and if such vehicle had been used the first registration should not have earlier than three years from the date of shipment;
goods to be given as to any person other than a member of his family;
- in commercial quantities as determined by the Director General of Customs; or
- imported for purposes of sale or exchange; or
- the property of any person other than the passenger or a member of his family traveling with him; or
- to be given as a gift to any other person:
Types of Baggages
- Sri Lankan Passport Holder (Adults & Minors)
- Foreign Passport Holder with Sri Lanka Resident Visa.
- Airline Crew (Foreign Nationals & Sri Lankans)
- Ship’s Crew (Foreign Nationals & Sri Lankans)
Documents relating to the Importation / Exportation and clearance of Passenger's Baggage
Passenger's Baggage Exemptions-Tourists
- Customs Declaration Form - Inward
- Customs Declaration Form - Outward
- Airway Bill - Inward/Outward
- Airline Notice
- Delivery Order
- Bill of lading
- Passenger manifest / Cargo Manifest
- Passport / Emergency Certificate
- Duty Free Certificate
- Letter regarding A,B, & C facilities
- Baggage Tag
- Power of Attorney
- Excess Baggage Ticket<
- Crew Declaration – Air & Sea
- Package Transfer Application
Passenger's Baggage Exemptions-Sri Lankans/Residents
- Personal clothing and other essentials;
- Two regular-size bottles of wine and one and a half liters of spirits;
- Toilet water not exceeding a quarter litre , and a small quantity of perfume and souvenirs, value not exceeding US $ 250 not meant for commercial purpos
Provision of the Law
Baggage concession free or otherwise are granted only once within a period of one year (365 days) unless otherwise determined by the Director General of Customs.
- The importation, examination and delivery of Inward passenger’s baggage and the examination and export of outward passenger’s baggage are governed by Section 107A(1) and 107A(2) respectively, of the Customs Ordinance amended by Customs (Amendment) Act No. 83 of 1988, and the regulation framed there under.
Passenger’s Baggage (exemption) Regulations now in force referred to above have been approved by the Hon. Minister of Finance on 10th November, 1993 and they have been published in Government Gazette Extraordinary No. 792/17 of 10.11.1993 as amended by Government Gazette Extraordinary No.1234/17 of 29th April 2002, Government Gazette Extraordinary No 1282/3 of 31st March 2003 and Government Gazette Extraordinary No. 1438/24 of 31.03.2006.
The other Sections of the customs Ordinance which are relevant to the importation, exportation and examination of passenger’s baggage are:
12, 43, 44, 119, 125, 130, 138, 140, 142, 146, 147, 154, 163 and 165.
Duty Free Baggage Allowance - UPB
The Baggage Division handles only a limited number of gift packages. When any bone-fide gifts in light-weight packages from unsuspected origins are received as sea-freight, such packages are allowed for examination and release from the Baggage Office. For this purpose the recipient or his agent should present an application to the Charges Officer (C.O) at Baggage Office will Bill of Lading or Delivery Order and with any other relevant documents, and obtain permission to transfer the packages to Baggage Office. C.O. will peruse the documents and if he is satisfied that the packages contain only unsolicited hone-fide gifts, the transfer will be permitted. On receipt of the packages at Baggage Office, they will be examined and released on recovery of duty and other levies, subject to action being taken on any restricted or prohibited items. Transfer of heavy packages to Baggage Office, which are suspected to contain goods for commercial purposes is not allowed although entered as ‘Gifts’. Such packages should be cleared following the procedure of passing Bill of Sight in the Long Room.
All Gift Package received as Airfreight are transferred from Air Cargo Terminal at katunayake to the Bonded warehouses, along with unaccompanied packages. At these Bond Warehouses such gift parcel are examined on a Customs Import Entry presented to the Customs Appraiser. Duty and other charges are recovered on the Entry which is ‘Satisfied’ by the Assistant Director of Customs, prior to release the goods.
Note: No duty free allowance is available for gift parcels.
Goods in Commercial Quantity
- A passenger who has not utilized his/her baggage allowance on his/her arrival,he/she is entitled for his baggage allowance for UPB.
- A passenger who has utilized a part of his/her baggage allowance on his/her arrival,he/she is entitled for his balance baggage allowance for UPB.
- A passenger who has utilized his/her baggage allowance in full on his/her arrival, he/she is not entitled for his baggage allowance for UPB.
- A passenger who has purchased goods at Sri Lanka Duty Free Shops, and has utilized his/her baggage allowance in full on his/her arrival, he/she is not entitled for his baggage allowance for UPB.
- A passenger who has purchased goods at Sri Lanka Duty Free Shops, and has utilized his/her baggage allowance in part on his/her arrival, he/she is entitled the proportionately calculated balance of the baggage allowance for UPB.
- A passenger who acquired some goods abroad and also purchased goods at Sri Lanka Duty Free Shops,is entitled for a balance baggage allowance, if any, for UPB,equivalent to the balance of proportionately calculated baggage allowance for the goods purchased at duty free shops, plus the baggage allowance for the goods acquired abroad.
Unaccompanied Passenger's Baggage - Inward
|Value of Goods
|Up to Rs.25,000/-
|Over Rs.25,000/-, but less than Rs.50,000/-
|Over Rs.50,000/-, but less than Rs.75,000/-
|Over Rs.75,000/-, but less than Rs.100,000/-
|Over Rs.100,000/-, but less than Rs.125,000/-
|Over Rs.125,000/-, but less than Rs.200,000/-
Note: Penalty is imposed over and above the applicable Customs duty and other levies.
Unaccompanied Passenger's Baggage - Outward
All unaccompanied passenger’s baggage which arrive as airfreight are brought to the respective Bonded warehouses. On receipt of a notice from the Airline informing the arrival of the baggage at either of these Bonded warehouses, the passenger should call over there with his/her Passport and other relevant documents. On presentation of an Inward Passenger Declaration Form duly perfected, the packages are examined by the Customs Officers for contents, description,quantities, values and any other requirements. After granting the “duty free allowance” upto the value for which the passengers are entitled or after taxing duty and other charges due, the packages are released for delivery. Passport is endorsed with allowances granted or the amount taxed.
Packages of Unaccompanied baggage which arrive as sea freight are landed in the warehouses in the Port of Colombo along with packages containing other merchandise. Such baggage may come in L.C.L. Containers (Loose Container Load)containing goods belonging to several parties or as F.C.L. Containers (Full – Container Load), i.e. one container – load for one single party. After obtaining Delivery Order from the Ship’s Agent, the passenger should make an application to the Customs Charges Officer (C.O) to bring the U.P.B. packages of full containers from the Warehouse to the Baggage Office for examination. C.O. will allow such removal to Baggage Offic after scrutinizing the Passport and other documents. U.P.B. packages are not examined after normal legal hours. Therefore, packages should be brought to the Baggage Office normally before 3.00 p.m. on working days allowing sufficient time for examination. Under special circumstance on application made for such purpose and on furnishing a security deposit. In addition, outside examination fees and overtime charges are also payable. Release of all F.C.L. Containers is subject to approval by Central cargo surveillance unit. F.C.L. Containers carrying consolidated unaccompanied baggage of several passengers and consigned to the respective boned warehouse. Agents are allowed to be taken to their Bonded Warehouses, where the packages are examined in the presence of the passengers.
Clearance of a packages containing U.P.B. received through Parcel Post is done at Parcel Office of the Postal Department at D.R.Wijewardhana Mawatha. On receipt of Postal Notice the passenger has to make a declaration in the Customs/Postal Declaration Form and cell over at the Parcel Post Office for examination and clearance of such packages.
For the clearance of packages containing U.P.B. coming as ‘Favour Parcels’ in the care of Captain or other crew member of a ship or aircraft, a document from the Captain certifying the ownership of the goods in required. On application made for unshipping and transfer to Baggage Office under Customs supervision of such packages and also on a Declaration made by the passenger the packages will be released after normal Customs examination.
When a person leaving Sri Lanka has baggage or household effects to be sent as fright, he/she should call over at the baggage office or UPB Warehouse with his/her passport, Air Ticket and with any requisite licences/permits. He/she has to perfect an outward passengers’ baggage declaration and submit it to the Customs charges officer. If the documents are in order, an officer/s will be appointed to examination of the baggage. The officer/s examines the package/s and seals it/them with Customs Seal and hands over them to the passenger or his authorized forwarding agents for shipment after endorsing the outward passenger declaration and the documents..