20 April 2018
SRI LANKA: 15% Levy Imposed on Gold Imports Following Unexplained Surge in Volume
All gold imported into Sri Lanka is now subject to a 15% levy. This marks the end of a five-year period where the precious metal was accorded duty-free status and reflects government concerns over a recent surge in the volume of gold imported to the country.
In the first three months of this year, Sri Lanka’s gold imports amounted to some 8,000 kg. Back in 2016, the total for the whole year was only 9,148 kg. As this increased import level has not been matched by rising output in the country’s jewellery manufacturing sector, the suspicion is that much of this unaccounted-for gold is being smuggled into neighbouring countries – notably India – where both demand and import duties are high. The raised import levels are also seen as widening Sri Lanka’s own trade deficit, while additionally placing something of a strain on the country’s foreign currency reserves.