Importers secure higher gains from VAT increase



In the backdrop of the 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) increase that comes into effect from today (Jan. 01), it is revealed that a large number of containers laden with goods by importers which is sufficient for 3 – 4 months, are at the Colombo port.

Due to an increase in imports, the congestion in clearance of goods had been extreme in the last days of December.

Speaking, Senior Director of Customs and Customs Spokesperson – Mr. Sivali Arukgoda said that there has been an unusual increase in importation of goods in the last few days.

He added that although the Customs usually receives between 1000 – 1200 containers per day for clearance, documents to clear 1774 and over 1600 containers were received on Dec. 28 and Dec. 29 respectively.

Customs says that this is about a 50% increase than the average daily volume of containers handled for clearance.

According to the Customs, all goods slapped by the 18% VAT has been imported in this manner.

The Customs has observed that goods such as food, clothing, floor tiles, bathroom fittings, building materials, electric equipment, computers, mobile phones and accessories and toys have been imported in this way.

As of last Saturday (Dec. 30), all that was left to be cleared were 320 containers left at the Colombo Port and 370 containers at the 03 inspection yards located outside the port.

All these too, were also cleared by last night (Dec. 31), the Customs add.

The Customs media spokesperson states that Customs officials had worked day and night to clear these containers.

The 18% VAT came into effect from midnight yesterday (Dec. 31) and it is said that many who had cleared all their goods ahead of the VAT implementation, will now sell them in the local market at a higher price and reap more profits.

(Source – Aruna)


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