Sri Lanka removes licenses on 369 imports, open account allowed till June 07

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has lifted import licenses on 369 items imposed in March and April 2022 and also allowed open account imports till June 07, the Finance Ministry said.

Sri Lanka had previously banned open account imports from May 20, leading to fears that food shortages may take place if banks do not give foreign exchange on time.

Most food are imported to Sri Lanka on open account terms and settled later as counterparties have long term relationships.

Import licensing however leads to corruption critics have said.

The Finance Ministry asked for only essential imports to be made.

“Given the difficult economic situation in the country, the Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies requests all stakeholders to rationalize their importation on the basis of importance and urgency to save the limited foreign exchange for the purpose of importation of essential commodities to ensure their uninterrupted supply,” the statement said.

Sri Lanka has separately raised the margin requirement on letters of credit for imports. (Colombo/June01/2022)

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