Government must fully digitalise Sri Lanka Customs

Government must fully digitalise Sri Lanka Customs

The government must fully digitalise the services offered by the border agencies, including Sri Lanka Customs, to ensure paperless trade, which will facilitate exports and bring down the cost of living.

Although Sri Lanka Customs smoothly operated during the pandemic, offering fully digitalised services, the agency reverted to the manual process in the post-pandemic period, leaving room for corruption, along with delays and additional costs.

“Successive governments don’t have a drive and vision to go for digitalisation. Every single rupee incurred in port transport cost comes back to you. It’s passed down to the customer, so there goes the cost of living.

Through this press conference, we urge the government to look at a complete digitalisation, not a partial digitalisation because it’s a no go in today’s world economy,” Global Shippers’ Forum Chairman Sean Van Dort urged.

As the other countries in the region move to offer fully digital services, he cautioned that the Sri Lankan exporters could lose their market share in exports.

“You can see a paradigm shift in India and Bangladesh; they are grabbing our market share,” he added.