Sri Lanka told to speed up paper work for trade with India

Oct 04, 2010 (LBO) – Early issue of export documentation by Sri Lankan authorities could help reduce delays in clearing goods shipped to India under a free trade deal, trade experts and economists told a forum. The Indo-Lanka free trade agreement (FTA) has eliminated or reduced import duties, improving market access for businesses in both countries.

But trade is still subject to many types of delay one of which concerned the certificate of origin, a key document required by exporters to ship goods to India under the free trade agreement.

This was one of the major constraints identified in a survey of exporters and importers in both countries done by the Institute of Policy Studies, a think tank, Dharshani Premaratne of the IPS told a fourm.

The certificate in Sri Lanka is issued by the commerce department and issued only after the shipment has been effected.

Sri Lanka’s commerce department should consider issuing the certificate of origin 3-4 days before shipment of goods to prevent delays in clearing goods and shippers incurring extra costs, it was suggested at the forum.

“Shipments from Sri Lanka usually arrive in India within 48 hours, which means the goods arrive before the documen