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Temporary Import and Export of Items under ATA Carnet

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                                       Ministry of Finance
                            Sri Lanka Customs Department

Temporary Import and Export of Items under ATA Carnet
If you intend to import or export something on temporary basis for exhibition or similar reasons, It can be imported and exported under ATA Carnet system.

Sri Lanka Customs permits the Temporary importation of

  • Scientific Instruments
  • Pedagogic Material
  • Professional Equipments
  • Articles/Equipments for Exhibition purpose
  • Samples and Advertising material

Under ATA Carnet system

Important things about A.T.A. Carnet

  • Customs does not require Bank Guarantee or any other form of security to cover import taxes.
  • Import control requirements not applicable in most cases.
  • Health Ministry/ TRC approval may be required on selected goods depending on items imported for exhibition purpose (Medicines/ Telecommunication equipments etc.).
  • Up to One year time is permitted.
  • If required, the goods can be disposed locally on payments of applicable taxes.
  • If the Item supposed to use in Sri Lanka, relevant taxes should be paid.
  • Extension of validity period is possible with customs approval.
  • Letter of authority from carnet holder for local representative is adequate to transact with Customs.
  • A local representative can act on behalf of Carnet holder. A forwarding company or local agent of the shipper are acceptable. A Letter of authority from the CARNET holder should accompany the document.
  • A Customs Declaration(CUSDEC) is not required for items imported under ATA Carnet.

How ATA Carnet is handled?

Sea Freight

  • "D" Branch of Sri Lanka customs handles import/re-import Carnet documents
  • Export office of Sri Lanka customs handles export/re-export Carnet documents

Air Freight

  • Customs office at Air Cargo Terminal, Katunayake handles all Carnet documents connected with air freighted goods


  • Customs officers working at Arrival/ Departure areas of the Airport handle all Carnet documents connected with goods hand carried by air passengers.
  • Duty officer at Baggage Office in Colombo Port handles Carnet documents relevant t ogoods carried by passengers arriving or departing by sea.

Gemstones hand carried by passengers for Exhibitions

  • Gemstones are examined by Customs staff at National Gem and Jewelry Authority and ATA Carnet is endorsed.
  • Returning Gem parcels are transferred to National Gem and Jewelry Authority for inspection. Carnet is endorsed for Re-Importation (return journey) at this point.

Who Issues ATA Carnet?
A.T.A. Carnet is issued by International Chamber of Commerce(ICC). For more information and required forms please visit

It is also possible to temporarily import items under  Special Deposit or under Bank Guarantee.
Please Contact Sri Lanka Customs for more Details.

Organization Information

Department of Customs

No 40,
Main Street,
Colombo 11.

Telephones:+94-11-2470945 to +94-11-2470948
Fax Nos:+94-11-2446364

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Last Updated On: 2015-07-09 12:17:34
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