6 December, 2022


Custom Vehicle Valuation System In A Mess

Vehicle importers are facing a severe crisis with the vehicle clearing process at the Sri Lanka Customs been currently halted, resulting in the importers having to pay unnecessary demurrages for vehicles not cleared within the specified period.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake

After the Yahapalana government came into power, the valuation process of motor vehicles for tax purposes, which was riddled with corruption, was revamped and a Special Committee appointed to determine the minimum value for all motor vehicles for customs purposes was disbanded. The new government replaced the valuation committee with a new committee headed by the Director General of Customs (DGC).

However, it is now learnt that the new valuation database determined by the new committee headed by the DGC and published in the Customs website for the information of the importers is incorrect as the senior officers who have been appointed to the committee to advise and assist the DGC and the Minister have deliberately setup another false valuation database, compelling the halt of the clearing process until further notice. This has caused immense hardship to the trade, but heavy revenue to the government.

Click here for the customs minimum values.

It is learnt that the customs officers deliberately set up this false value base to derail the government’s initiative to recover levies on the true values of motor vehicles obtained from the manufactures and published as minimum value for customs purposes. Once this process comes into operation the Finance Minister has ruled that levies recovered on the minimum value as determined by the Ministry, no penal sanctions as provided by the Customs law should be invoked against any importer.

This stand taken by the Minister has made Customs officers to disrupt the government’s new revenue collection initiate on motor vehicles as the officers have been denied opportunity to claim cash rewards from the penalties imposed on the importers.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 9

    The question to be asked is why the government should pay an incentive for customs officers to do the job they are paid to do.

    It does not take too much brain to work out that it will lead to corruption.

    Sri Lankan customs is a den of corruption from day one of its inception. I am sure Sri Lankan people will be better served it this whole set up is outsourced (don’t laugh). I assure you there is no other way to deal with the corrupt edifice called the Sri Lanka Reguwa (better to call it Rogueguhawa).

    • 3

      The entire TRANSPORT POLICY of Sri Lanka is wrong. Ravi K is dancing the over customs corruption rather than address the large issue of a lack of proper transport policy and the obsession with cars that the global auto industry promotes with various advertizing gimmics.

      Govt. should only permit SMALL CARS in a small island, and follow the Economist Schaumpeter – SMall is Beautiful. Sri Lanka need a different development path. The time of MEGA development projects, and mega cars and mega cities, without care for the ENVIRONMENTAL damage caused is gone with global warming and environmental change.

      There should be a ban on all petrol and gas guzzling SUVs and massive luxury cars, since Lanka’s roads are now in good condition. SUVs were which were built for the super highways of large countries because people have to drive cross country and inter-state. Sri lanka is a tiny island and has very few highways so having BMW, MERCS etc. is a waste of foreign exchange.

      Country needs a proper public transport system so the long suffering commuters and other people will use public transport which is environmentally friendly.

      • 0

        Since it was Mahinda Jarapassa and family’s and cronies LOANS and looting of the loans and the national public wealth that is the cause of the current economic crisis and Fitch downgrade, the following needs to be done:

        1. Trace a the looted billions of the Jarapassa family and have them returned to pay off the national debt and lock up Basil the thief of Divineguma funds, Gota the Avant Guard man and all the other Jarapassa cronies.

        2. Ask China for DEBT CANCELLATION for the LOANS taken for Hambantota White Elephant development projects as it did for Bangladesh Chittagong harbor project.

    • 1

      Politicians should be banned from owning and driving SUVs. and covering their windows with Black masking materials.

      Pathala Champika the wanna be emperor of Lanka is the latest offender.

      MEGA EGO, MEGA CITY, Minister Pathala Ranawaka, who is also a racist Buddhist humbug was in a hit and run accident and almost killed 2 youth on a humble motorcycle.

      Pathala the wanna be RACIST Sinhala Buddhist emperor of Lanka needs to be tried for falsification of evidence, lying and attempted man slaughter.

      Politicians and their CULTURE OF CORRUPTION, IMPUNITY and IMMUNITY epitomised in their massive blackened cars and need for SPEED are the greatest perpetrators of VIOLENCE in Sri Lanka – past and present. This political CAR CULTURE must end.

      Politicians per capita the biggest percentage of rad accident perpetrators. Corrupt politicians with big EGOS like Pathala need to be taken off the roads and imprisoned.

      We always knew that Pathala was UN-Buddhist and had a MEGA EGO, which is why he wants MEGA CITY projects to boost his image and profile, now he thinks that he can cover up crime and

      MEGA development projects which need massive concrete are today are quite out of fashion and considered Not friendly either to people and the environment.
      Lanka today desperately needs people friendly development and public transport and an end to the culture of impunity and immunity for corrupt and criminal politicians.

  • 9

    The Fitch rating downgrade is real. The govt suffered a hit in its credit worthiness.

    This means the govt will struggle to pay its debts. This is a result of 2 things. The LKR depreciation and mismanagement of the finances.

    The tax collection took another dive. Now it stands at 10% when it stood at 15% before. The actual sustainable position is around 20%.

    This means the govt does not have half the revenue it needs to pay its debt burden. There needs to be a serious look at what is going on inside the finance ministry.

  • 3

    YOU are a mess that we need to get rid of!

  • 3

    Why should importers pay a penalties to share amongst Customs officers once the taxes on vehicles are paid on the minimum value declared by the Minister? This needs immediate attention of the government. These people make money like nothing. Recently five Customs fellows were caught whilst accepting a cash bribe of 125 million rupees and they make millions with penalty shares as well.

    Business community is fully aware one customs officer recently claimed over 80 million rupees penalty share from a 240 million rupee penalty recovered from the Telecom.

    These fellows sabotage the government’s effort to collect right revenue with no penalty recoveries but all collections made as duties. The yahapalana government should not turn a blind eye to these serious abuses any more.

  • 0

    As JVP, Anura Kumara Disssayake correct mentioned in the Parliament, the Finance Minister Karunanayake should accept the responsibility for withdrawing the Gazette Notice that permitted Customs to recover penalties. These people are jealous of the Customs Officer, who make money by lawful means.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.