Joint Chambers of Commerce Urge Customs Officials to Prioritise National Interests Above Personal Issues

The Joint Chambers of Commerce urge the Customs Officers to call off the ongoing work to rule, and the strike planned for the 4th and 5th of July. The current work to rule action has caused significant delays in clearing import cargo, resulting in supply chain disruption, and delays in production and delivery. 

The delay in clearing goods has led to considerable costs, including port demurrages, yard charges, vehicle detention charges, and liner charges. Importers in particular are bearing the brunt of increased costs and delays due to this ongoing action. Furthermore, the prolonged disruption will have a ripple effect on exports, as delays in clearing cargo will lead to vessels bypassing Sri Lanka altogether. This would jeopardise the delivery commitments of local manufacturers to international brands, further damaging our economic reputation and future trade prospects.

Among the cargo at the port are perishable food items, medicines and other essential goods. Continued delays could result in shortages of these supplies. 

Any strike action, as planned for 4th and 5th July, will only exacerbate the situation, leading to further hardship for businesses and the broader economy.  

At a time when the country is beginning to show signs of recovery and growth, actions of this nature will only dampen such positive momentum. The Joint Chambers earnestly urge the Customs Officers to reconsider their current actions in the context of the national economy and the welfare of the general public.

We recognise that grievances, if any, must be resolved through discussion and not by resorting to strike or work-to-rule actions. The Joint Chambers emphasise that the duties of Customs Officers must be carried out with the highest standards of professionalism and integrity, prioritizing the nation's interests above personal considerations.

Let us all work together to ensure a robust and secure future for our country.

  1. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce 
  2. American Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka
  3. European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka
  4. Exporters Association of Sri Lanka
  5. Joint Apparel Association Forum
  6. National Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka
  7. National Chamber of Exporters
  8. The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka
  9. Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce
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