Sri Lanka new tea export levy by year’s end

Sept 20, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is to impose a new levy on tea exports to raise funds for marketing and advertising to increase its market share in the highly competitive beverage market, officials said. Upali Dissanayake, additional secretary of the Ministry of Plantation Industries, said the law to enable the collection of the new promotional levy of 3.50 rupees a kilo will come into force in three months.

“The new levy will to be collected from exporters and will be outside the government budget and will be used solely for marketing and promotion,” he told LBO in an interview.

The levy will be collected by the Sri Lanka Tea Board, which regulates the tea industry, one of the island’s top foreign exchange earners.

The funds raised by the export levy will be managed by a committee which will include exporters.

“The committee will decide how to spend the money as exporters are the people who need promotion and marketing support,” said Dissanayake.

H D Hemaratna, director-general of the Tea Board, said the new promotional levy will be in addition to an existing export cess or tax of four rupees a kilo collected on exports by the Customs department.

The funds raised from the