Sri Lanka to impose maximum penalties on smugglers amid revenue loss concerns
Posted on November 12th, 2023


In response to escalating revenue losses, Sri Lanka Customs plans to enforce maximum penalties for individuals smuggling over 100 grams of gold and substantial quantities of restricted items including mobile phones, a spokesman said Sunday.

A recent report from the Parliamentary Committee on Ways and Means highlighted a loss of 1.4 billion rupees in recent times, attributing it to discretionary powers granted to customs officers in determining fines for smuggling restricted goods into the country, said customs media spokesman Sivali Arukgoda.

The committee also revealed a surge in the smuggling of gold, mobile phones, and other valuable items over the past three years following import restrictions.

Arukgoda said since June 2023 individuals caught bringing in restricted valuable items could face fines three times the value of the goods or a 100,000 rupees penalty.

As of October 31, customs had collected 760 billion rupees in revenue, with expectations that total customs revenue for the year would surpass 925 billion rupees, Arukgoda said.

The Sri Lankan government set a revenue target of 1,226 billion rupees for 2023. (1 US dollar equals 328 Sri Lankan rupees)

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