Sri Lanka’s first ever European Union mandated GSP exporter listing call went live on the web on 2 January.
“I commend the Department of Commerce under our Ministry for setting up this system and operationalising exactly on the first working day of 2018. We thank the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) for their support too” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka Rishad Bathiudeen on 2 January.
Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the launch of Sri Lanka Department of Commerce’ revamped website at doc.gov.lk which for the first time also integrates the REX Registration system that will become mandatory requirement for all exporters to EU who want to claim the EU GSP Plus benefits. Joining the event were Secretary to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce KDN Ranjan Ashoka and DG Commerce Sonali Wijeratne.
Sri Lanka’s total exports to EU increased to $3.1 Bn in 2016 from 2015’s $ 3Bn. Usually around 60% of it are apparel exports.
REX Registration system that will become mandatory requirement for all exporters to EU who want to claim the EU GSP Plus benefits –the zero tariff-on their exports. Approximately Lankan 3500 exporters are expected to register before the end of this year online, through doc.gov.lk site (This registration is not required for Lankan exporters to EU who do not want to claim GSP Plus benefits. It is also not required for Lankan exporters who export to EU and want to claim GSP Plus benefits but their value of the export is less than Euros 6000). The REX registration is free of charge.
Once the online documents are submitted, printed copies of the submission too should be sent to DoC by the exporter, after which the Department in Colombo, having conducted site and factory visits of the exporting company, will decide on awarding the unique ID number called REX Number (in the LK-REX [TIN] format), which the exporter will hold as a verification number of him over the long term and would be able to provide to any EU importer for verification at importer’s end. This REX Number is issued for long term use and each registered exporter will receive their own REX Number once they qualify through the DoC, the deciding authority for Sri Lanka. Already 30 Lankan exporters to EU have submitted and the Department is processing them at present. Exporters who want EU GSP benefits cannot submit applications after 31 December 2018 and therefore all such exporters need to complete and obtain their REX Numbers within this year. Exporters to EU who qualify and earn a REX Number are not required to submit Certificates of Origin (COO) but are only required to submit a “Statement of Origin” for their exports.
All details on REX registration are accessible online at the revamped DoCSL website at Doc.gov.lk>Our Services>REX System Registration.
According to the DoC, there are more than 5000 Lankan exporters registered with the Department to export under various trade agreements and facilities (such as FTAs, APTA, SAFTA, GSP Plus..etc) and 3500 of this are exporting to EU under GSP Plus facility, and who are now called complete their listing on or before December 31, 2018, totally free of charge.