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Import Rules, Regulations, Policies & Procedures To Import Japan Used Cars In Sri Lanka

Check all the key points related to import rules, regulations, policies, documentations, duties and taxes, inspections, restrictions, shipping ports, etc. which you should keep in mind while importing Used Cars from Japan to Sri Lanka

Year Restriction

Max. 3 Years Old

Destination Port

Colombo and Hambantota

Time of Shipment

RoRo (14-24 Days)

Vessel Schedule

RoRo (Fortnightly)

Shipping Line




Used Car Import Rules & Regulations in Sri Lanka


Right-Hand Drive Vehicles

Importation of only Right-Hand Drive (RHD) vehicles allowed in Sri Lanka.


There is a compulsory inspection JAAI that should be passed in Japan. Inspection original certificate needed to complete customs clearance upon arrival. It will also need as an additional document for LCA transaction (Letter of Credit Authorization).

Age Restriction

1. Age of used cars imported should be under 2 years, whereas vehicles (vans and dual purpose) should not be more than 5 years old.
2. Also, the age Limit of Buses (10-12 passengers, including Driver), Motor Cars, Sports Utility Vehicles (Jeeps), All-Terrain Vehicles (Beach Bikes), Ambulances, Motor Bikes are 3 Years.
3. Age Limit of Single Cabs, Double Cabs, Lorries/ Trucks (GVW Less than 5MT), Refrigerated Trucks (GVW less than 5MT) 4 Years.

Road-worthiness Inspection

All Japanese used vehicles imported to Sri Lanka must be JAAI (Japan Auto Appraisal Institute) certified for roadworthiness.

Used Cars Import Duties And Taxes In Sri Lanka

Duties & Taxes

Valuation of Motor Vehicles

How does Customs determine the value for computation of Customs Duties?

Value of motor vehicles falling within HS headings 8702, 8703, 8704, 8705 and 8711, value determined as follows:

1. In case of a Brand New vehicle imported on an invoice issued or certified by the manufacturers, the transacted value shall be applied.

2. For all other vehicles, the value shall not be below 85% of the manufacturer’s value, excluding local taxes, of a similar or identical brand new vehicle at the country of export. (Please see Gazette Extraordinary No. 1971/10 of 14.06.2016 for more information)

For other vehicles, applicable value the transacted value, adjusted according to the provisions of Articles to the WTO Valuation Agreement.

Classification of Motor Vehicles

What is a HS Code?

In short, HS stands for Harmonized System. These codes introduced under Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System formulated by the World Customs Organization, which covers 98% of the world trade. These codes applied to internationally traded goods for various reasons. The most relevant reason is trade statistics. Also, they help identify local tax rates and legal restrictions and prohibitions on imports. These codes used by almost all the countries in the world, and help uniform identification of internationally traded commodities, irrespective of language and other trade related barriers.

How does Customs calculate the age of a used vehicle?

The age of a used vehicle is the period between the date of first registration and the date of shipment from the country of export. The date of first registration available on the export certificate while the date of the Bill of lading/ Air Way Bill taken as the date of shipment.

Importation of Motor Vehicles on Concessionary Permits

In addition to the requirements to fulfilled in importing a vehicle in to the country, as explained before, you must make sure that

1. You possess a valid Concessionary permit

2. The value, as determined in terms of the regulations explained above, is within the permitted limit, at the time of establishment of the relevant letter of credit.

3. The other conditions relevant to the permit must fulfilled. (These condition can found on the permit itself, and the relevant Gazette Notification under which concessionary permits issued)

Importation of motor Vehicles by Sri Lankans Employed overseas

The vehicle must be within the permitted age limit. If not, a permit from the Controller of Imports & Exports must be obtained prior to importation. Also, if the vehicle is imported on No Foreign Exchange Involved basis, necessary clearance must be obtained from the Controller General of Imports & Exports prior to importation.

Customs Clearance Process of Motor Vehicles

Under the provisions of the Customs ordinance, the Customs clearance documents must be presented and the clearance formalities completed by a licensed Customs House Agent. However, Motor Bicycles brought in as part of unaccompanied personal baggage can be cleared by the passenger without a Customs House Agent.

Verifying the Authenticity of Your vehicle

This can be verified from Customs. You need to make a request with all details (I.e. Chassis Number, CusDec Number etc.) to the ICT Directorate, at 3rd floor, Customs Headquarters, Colombo 11.

Importation of Motor Bicycles under Duty-Free Allowance

Technically, a Motor Bicycle having engine capacity up to 350 cc can be brought in under baggage allowance. However, whether such a motor bicycle can be cleared duty free depends on your duty free allowance entitlement and the valuation of the vehicle. If the value of the motor bicycle exceeds the duty free allowance, Customs duty calculated proportionately has to be paid. You are strongly advised to consult the Motor Vehicles Unit before importing such a vehicle, so that you could be aware of the duty liability in advance.

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Avoid Frauds While Buying Used Cars from Japan

Japan is known for their High Quality Used Cars & Vehicles Exported Worldwide.
At we have hundreds of Trusted Dealers with more than 30 years of experience in used cars export industry.

But due to some Fake & Fraud companies the name of all dealers get spoiled.  Make sure to double check the company with before any deal to avoid being a victim of fraudsters…..