Moving to Sri Lanka

Country Guide

Country Guide: Sri Lanka

Due to the current coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and restrictions in various countries, the below information may not be accurate. This pandemic is a fluid situation. Check with authorities for local laws and restrictions concerning movements.

Updated: September 09, 2016

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.

IAM Note: Vehicles may be imported only under certain conditions. Contact the destination agent for specific information prior to 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.

Cultural and Other Information

CIA World Factbook Entry for Sri Lanka

Wikipedia Entry for Sri Lanka