Sri Lanka Bilateral Trade Agreements

Some Sri Lankan exports to the United States enjoy duty-free privileges under the broader U.S. preference regime, which provides duty-free preferential treatment for up to 5,000 products (excluding clothing products) from certain recipient countries. The Bilateral Framework Agreement on Trade and Investment (TIFA) between the United States and Sri Lanka provides a framework for both governments to discuss and resolve trade and investment issues quickly. The last discussions on TIFA took place in June 2019. Sri Lanka has signed a free trade agreement with India, Pakistan and Singapore and is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the PRC. Free trade agreements with India and Pakistan concern only trade in goods. The agreements provide for duty-free imports and tariff preferences for industrial and agricultural products. A national capital gain of 35% is required in order to benefit from concessions granted under the agreements. Sri Lanka has preferential and free trade agreements with India, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Singapore and Israel. It is in the process of extending its agreement with India to a much broader agreement. The Singapore-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement came into force on May 1, 2018. The free trade agreement includes investment, goods, services, trade facilitation, government procurement, telecommunications, e-commerce and dispute resolution.

Sri Lanka has eliminated tariffs on 50 per cent of customs positions (including those already at zero rates) which will gradually increase to 80% within 14 years. Sri Lanka will not reduce or abolish tariffs on the remaining 20% of tariffs. Describes the trade agreements in which this country is involved. Includes resources in which U.S. companies can obtain information on how they can use these agreements. In May 2017, Sri Lanka reclaimed the European Union`s (EU) Generalized Preference System (GSP) for Sri Lanka`s exports. Trade preferences under the GSP consist of the total removal of tariffs on 66% of tariff positions covering a wide range of products, including textiles and fishing. The GSP programme depends on Sri Lanka promoting human and workers` rights and working to ensure sustainable development. Sri Lanka is a member of the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA). Sri Lanka is also a party to SAFTA, the Agreement on a South Asian Free Trade Area, and to BIMSTEC, which aims to develop a regional free trade agreement.