Sri Lanka not to allow mobile phones as gifts

Posted on May 28, 2008  /  13 Comments

Worried over the growing grey market for mobile phones due to illegal imports from countries like China and India, Sri Lankan Customs has decided to confiscate such cell phones being brought in as accompanied or unaccompanied baggage or as gift.

The Sri Lanka Customs has announced that all goods for commercial purposes/commercial quantities have to be imported in accordance with the provision of the Import Control Act and regulations framed there under.

It is estimated that over 20,000 mobile phones are entering the country through illegal channels every month.

“We are optimistic that this initiative will help in combating the grey market in Sri Lanka with strong implementation Directo/ Chief Executive Officer of Softlogic Communications Samantha Rajapaksa told the “Daily News”.

Softlogic an authorised dealer for Nokia phones in Sri Lanka.

Read the full story in ‘The Hindu’ here.


  1. Canon, Nokia or Coca Cola release deferent versions of their products in deferent segments of the world for deferent prices – they use deferent boxes, deferent colors, deferent names and model numbers. Some people, like me for instance, take the advantage of the lower price in somewhere else in the globe, or early releases, and buy those and use them. Canon or Nokia or Coca Cola may not entirely happy with that. So they have mechanism to discourage that by not offering international warrantee, etc.. Perfectly alright. It is their business.

    Now what Sri Lankan custom have to do with that? When I check the last time, Sri Lankan customs belong to Sri Lankan government, but not for any of those companies. I’m perfectly alright if Sri Lankan customs get paid for working for Nokia (softlogic) or SE. If not, this is nothing more than giving free money to Nokia or SE or any other for some strange reason? hmm. Wonder what that can be?

  2. It’s commonly thought that “big Business” wants to promote free-markets. not at all, big business just wants to get in bed with government to F off the competition. No free trade for Softlogic types.

    oh and Samantha Rajapakse eh ? hmm..

  3. Say I buy a phone from Singapore. Use it there for few days and bring to Sri Lanka as my personal phone. How Sri Lanka customs know it is not a new phone and my personal one? Do I have to submit an affidavit?

  4. Ridiculous! Softlogic should concentrate its efforts on cutting down on illegal nokia phone retailing or simply differentiate itself in the market.

    Limiting the public’s right to bring down phones for family and friends is a threat to the already increasingly restricted freedoms of the citizens of this country.

    it is a sign of the ineffective management of Softlogic that they are supporting such legislation, and also the a sign of the succeptibility of our government to the whims of the ‘corporatocracy’.

  5. I once bought a phone from Softlogic cos they are the agents and when I went home and checked, the battery (which they conveniently pack separately in the box) is a ‘Made in China’ !! When I went back and inquired their answer was that ALL their batteries are made in China cos they buy bulk! So why should you pay more to someone who claims to be the agent, but doesn’t give you a better product, yet price their product at premium prices?

    Its better to buy mobile phones for a better price from a dealer and also get Hungary or Finland produced goods which are better.

  6. we just want to buy a phone with our budget not softlogic’s company budget.when ever somebody give a phone for a afrodable price we can buy it.Softlogic’s try to take the domminance over this goverment act,it should stop it violate human right in srilankan people.Srilankan middle level people can’t buy Softlogic’s product bcoze they call it socall original phones.that may fall’s becoze they also not taking the all moile acssoseries from one manufacture.

  7. The heading is very misleading and the author has tried to create a cheap twist to the actual story.
    The objective behind the governments effort is not to prevent people from bringing cell phones as gifts into the country. Actually customs allows 1-2 phones per person.
    The target is smugglers who illegally hand carry about 100-150 phones without paying any duty and volating all regulatory laws of the country.
    The experience I have had from softlogic has been great and their duty free prices are in par with the prices in Singapore.

  8. Our people do not know how to have a balance between the investment and the quality. Now a mobile communication device has become an essential item, not like in ninetees . So you should go for the best product to support your busy life. Here is where the quality of a product comes to the scene. Good quality phone gives an uninterrupted communication so is a better life support & a safe investment. My recommendation is to go for a branded product with a warrenty through the dealer without living with frustration after buying a cheap quality product.

  9. Mobile Phones Delivered in Sri Lanka
    Buy A Phone to Suit Your Needs
    ” All phone come with a 1 year warranty from SoftLogic”

    Customs officials in Sri Lanka have started clamping down on people brining in mobile phones as gifts in an attempt to curb the growing grey market for mobile phones in the country. The government imposes a six percent import tax plus sales taxes on all imported phones making smuggling a profitable enterprise
    more in

  10. customs? f som 1 gives money 2 them they grab that n pt n there pocket we cnt, compaer them 2 a mad dog

  11. we can bring mobile phone,s 4 our personel use. and we can bring as a gift 4 our family. this rules they made 4 there pocket. customs people are doing business withsome small people,s. but there thinking they are very int……..lgn……hoooooooooo.plz dnt hit 2 small family,s head n atmk. let them establish. this customs people,s are asking money from passengers n taking dutrfree liquer bottels frm passengers……………….this all thing,s doing by customs(not big officers)

  12. dear sir,

    i have sent a mobile phone and wrist watch thourgh the aramax from dubai to srilanka for my sisters birth day.but suddenly aramax they called to my family and said ” custom has hold the parsel and if you want to be released from the custom they need Rs 16,000.00,So my family doesn’t agreed with them and they direct connact to the custom and explained A to Z to them. finnaly the person who picked the phone has said your nothing to paid this much approximately Rs 2000.00 have to be paid. so today (30/08/2011) my sister went to the custom office of seeduwa from chilaw, for my parsel they have been charged Rs 9000.00 as per them 5000.00 for gouvernment charges and the rest for the items .and other thing was all thing doing by aramax persons not the custom officers their only taking money in this office and this moblile phone value was in srilanka rupees 8000 but we have been paid to clearence more than phone value so sir i would like to ask is this fare or unfare becuase we are small people that is really effect to us so please be moniter what their doing and make sure to do the right things otherwise small peoples like us really in trubble.