COLOMBO: The Sri Lanka Customs Department has begun operating a 24/7 customer hotline to help solve any customs issues within 8 days.
“We want to make Sri Lanka Customs free of any delays or harassments. That’s why we have set up a 24/7 hotline. Under the new government, our Customs should be friendly,” Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He said that consignments that do not require inspection must be released within 3 days and those who require inspections must be released within another 5 days.
“If the shipments have not been released within 3 days, please contact us, and we will also work to give you a solution within another 5 days. If there’s no solution then, you can contact the Treasury Secretary or the Finance Minister,” Sri Lanka Customs Director General Chulananda Perera said. He noted that though Customs revenue collection has continued to increase in recent months, there have been some unfortunate incidents with extended delays to clearance.
The new regime claims that it has increases daily Customs collections to above Rs. 2 billion, compared to half of that collected under the past regime., “You can contact us on 2 470945. For the first couple of weeks of implementation, we may not be able to provide 24/7 support. We will attempt to answer until 7pm,” Perera added. The Customs Department has been notorious for dragging their feet to clear shipments unless bribes are paid. The state recently arrested five Customs officers involved in a Rs.125 million bribery incident. (CW)