SRI LANKA INFORMATION
- Legislative capital:
Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte
65,610 sq km (Land: 64,630 sq km, Water: 980 sq km)
21,481,334 (July 2012 est.)
- Time difference:
GMT+5.5 hrs(10.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR)
- Independence Day:
Visitors to Sri Lanka bringing in more than US$10,000 should declare the amount to the Customs on arrival. All unspent rupees converted from foreign currencies can be re-converted to the original currency on departure as long as encashment receipts can be produced.
CUSTOMS FORMALITIES AND REGULATIONS
The Sri Lanka custom regulations are strict to be honest. As a visitor, entering Sri Lanka at the Airport, seaport or by road, you are by law required to make proper declaration of prohibited or durable goods that you may have in your possession.
You are allowed to bring into the country duty free 1.5 liters of spirits, two bottles of wine, a quarter-liter of toilet water, and a small quantity of perfume and souvenirs with a value not exceeding US $250. The import of personal equipment such as cameras and laptop computers is allowed but must be declared on arrival. However, personal equipment must be taken out of the country upon the visitor?s departure. The import of non-prescription drugs and pornography of any form is an offence.
- dangerous drugs or narcotic substances
- pornographic or seditious materials
- any material ridiculing any religious belief.
- fire arms, ammunitions, explosives and weapons
- pharmaceuticals and medicines, except for personal use
- goods for commercial or trade purposes, except trade samples
- plants, fruits, birds and their products. In case of import, a permit from the Director General of Agriculture of Sri Lanka as well as a Phytosanitary Certificate must be obtained prior to travel. If failing to present these document, materials will be collected and destroyed by the Plant Quarantine Authority
Full details relating to Sri Lanka Customs can be found at www.customs.gov.lk
Many hotels and shops accept reputed Credit Cards. No surcharge should be permitted for its use. Cash advances are possible against Credit Cards in certain banks. MasterCard and Visa are the most commonly accepted Cards. Other major cards such as American Express and Diners Club are also accepted.
INTERNATIONAL MONEY TRANSFERS
Telegraphic transfer using a major or agency with branches worldwide such as ANZ grindlays or Thomas Cook is, all things being equal, efficient and fast. You can transfer money via Western Union at Seylan Bank.
Banking facilities have been grown and widened tremendously to cope with the sophisticated needs of today's businessman. Sri Lankan and foreign banks provide an expanding range of services to investors.
- National banking hours are from 0900 hrs to 1500 hrs on weekdays.
- Banking hours may be different at private banks.
- Teller machines (ATM) are operated throughout the day.
- Reputed credit and charge cards are widely accepted by shops in Sri Lanka.
Normal working Hours are from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday. Sundays and public holidays are not working days.
230-240 Volts 50cycles AC
Sinhala (official and national language) 74%, Tamil (national language) 18%, other 8%
Note: English, spoken competently by about 10% of the population, is commonly used in government and is referred to as the link language in the constitution