Govt. approves implementation of e-licensing at Import and Export Control Dept. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2023 00:27 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Cabinet of Ministers approves proposal submitted by President Ranil Wickremesinghe
  • Move aims to boost efficiency and transparency in services offered by Dept.
  • Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardena says automated workflow processes will ease international trade facilitation
  • US Department of State EXBS program assures to provide Starlink IT system worth over $ 280,000 to enable e-license issuance process

The Government has decided to implement the e-license issuing procedure as a means of boosting efficiency and transparency in the services offered by the Import and Export Control Department.

The proposal to this effect submitted by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Finance, Economic Stabilisation and National Policies Minister was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting on Monday.

“Import and Export Control Department has completed preparation for a new automated computerised system and online submission of applications to ensure efficient and effective service to the trade community. Automated workflow processes will improve international trade facilitation,” Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardena said at the post-Cabinet meeting media briefing yesterday.

He also said that the Export Control and Border Security Program operating under the United States Embassy has agreed to provide the Information Technology System ‘STRATLINK’ worth $ 280,000 along with the complete source code to the Department of Import and Export Control as a donation.

 The Government intends to boost its productivity and clarity of services by implementing the e-licensing procedure with collective support from other departments and organisations such as Sri Lanka Customs, Excise Department, Department of Motor Traffic, Board of Investment and National Medicines Regulatory Authority and Sri Lanka Standards Institute.

Noting that the department plays a major role in the economy as a regulatory body which is responsible for the imports and exports being subjected to a license requirement, Gunawardena said before 1977, there were many restrictions for imports and exports which resulted in a heavy volume of work for the department. However, in the post-open economy, the workload of the department moderated.

“Amidst the COVID pandemic and foreign exchange crisis, the department resumed the heavy workload again. Against this backdrop the Import and Export Control Department initiated the fully automated license issuing process to enhance its productivity and transparency,” he added. 

The Cabinet Co-Spokesman also noted that the department issues around 17,000 licences annually.

As per Gunawardena, the system will provide enhanced security and information tracking.

Standardisation of import and export items is conducted to protect local industries, the environment and the people of the country. Money laundering is also controlled by implementing necessary policy frameworks together with the exchange control department.

“Compliance with international trade policies and modern e-technologies Import and Export Control Department is trying to upgrade licensing and service providing a process to esteemed levels by satisfying clients as well as sustaining national development objectives,” Gunawardena stressed.