Sri Lanka Market Entry
Basic conditions for the use of Czech goods on the market
- Market entry
- Forms and conditions of operation on the market
- Marketing and Communications
- Issues of intellectual property protection
- Public procurement market
- Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
- Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
- Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
- Fairs and events
The business community in Sri Lanka is closely interconnected and mainly concentrated in the capital city of Colombo, therefore it is necessary to establish cooperation with an influential local representative (representative company) from the beginning, who knows the local conditions well and will help to obtain quality information about individual projects. Basically, this is the only reliable way to establish yourself in the local market. The payment of consulting fees to local representatives must also be clearly taken into account in the financial calculations. Check smber for agriculture and fishing facts of Sri Lanka.
Forms and conditions of operation on the market
The Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Colombo can provide the necessary information on access to the local market. Further information can be requested from the association of local business chambers, the European Chamber of Commerce or the Board of Investment or can be found individually at the internet addresses listed in point 6.3.
Marketing and communication
Sri Lanka is as challenging a market to promote as any other developed country. In principle, any promotional materials must be written in English. Please note that even the honorary consul must receive everything in English. It pays to participate in a trade fair or specialized exhibition if a company wants to present its product, which is not yet known.
Issues of intellectual property protection
Sri Lanka is a signatory to the main treaties for the protection of intellectual property. It is a member of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva) and its intellectual property protection law is based on the WIPO model for developing countries. Sri Lanka, as a WTO member, is a signatory to the TRIPS Agreement (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights). In 2003, a new law for the protection of intellectual property, Intellectual Property Act No. 36. This law already complies to a large extent with the obligations arising from the TRIPS Agreement. It covers the area of copyright, industrial design, patents, trademarks and geographical indications.
Public procurement market
Information on newly announced public contracts can be obtained on the EU website in Colombo https://www.eeas.europa.eu/eeas/tenders_en
and other pages:
Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
When closing a deal, it is recommended to negotiate payment in the form of a confirmed letter of credit. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce itself recommends that Sri Lankan merchants negotiate this payment term when exporting their goods.
Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory
Visas, customs regulations
Before traveling to Sri Lanka, all citizens of the Czech Republic must obtain a visa, the so-called electronic travel authorization, “ETA”, through the portal http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/. The ETA is delivered to the passenger by email before traveling to Sri Lanka. Unlike in the past, it is not possible to get a visa to Sri Lanka after arriving in Sri Lanka. Each person can bring into Sri Lanka duty-free personal items and gifts worth up to USD 250, including 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 375 grams of tobacco, plus 2 bottles of wine, liters of spirits, personal perfume and 250 ml of toilet water. All passengers are required to declare precious metals, weapons, drugs, narcotics and all goods of a commercial nature upon entry. A foreigner may be asked to fill out a Baggage Declaration Form. Narcotics and drugs may not be imported into Sri Lanka, Indian and Pakistani currency and pornographic and erotic literature. It is necessary to report the export of cash worth more than USD 5,000 to customs officials and at the same time document its origin. If the traveler has imported these funds into Sri Lanka, he must present the “Exchange Control, Form D” form, which the traveler filled out upon arrival in Sri Lanka and had confirmed at the entry control. Everything that has been imported and declared, as well as up to 10 kg of tea and goods purchased for ordinary personal use and souvenirs, can be exported from Sri Lanka duty-free. As for alcoholic beverages, up to liters of hard alcohol and a maximum of 2 bottles of wine can be exported duty free from Sri Lanka. Gold, platinum, silver, antiques, precious or semi-precious stones (even in purchased jewellery), ivory, narcotics, arms and ammunition, animals and plants may not be exported from Sri Lanka.
Vaccination against viral hepatitis A, poliomyelitis, tetanus, typhoid is recommended. In the case of travel in the rainy season, vaccination against cholera is also recommended.
The climate is tropical and warm due to the moderating effects of ocean winds. Average temperatures range from 17 °C in the central highlands, where frost can occur for several days in winter, to a maximum of 33 °C in low-altitude areas.
Safety and security recommendations: Before each trip to Sri Lanka, it is recommended to inform yourself about the current situation regarding natural phenomena and possible security risks. The Czech Republic does not have an embassy in Sri Lanka. The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Delhi is accredited for Sri Lanka. There is an Honorary Consulate in Colombo – contact details see below. Violent crimes against foreigners are not widespread. However, there is a risk of petty theft of funds and personal documents, even in some accommodation facilities. Foreign women from Western countries may face verbal or physical harassment by groups of men, usually in markets, railway stations, buses and during sporting events. Avoid traveling alone if possible and also be careful when accepting drinks from strangers in hotel bars or resorts.
In Sri Lanka, all parts of the island can be visited, in the northern and eastern areas of the island, which were previously controlled by the “Tamil Tigers” (LTTE) movement, there is a greater presence of security forces and poorer infrastructure. Sri Lanka is often hit by heavy monsoon rains and cyclones that cause widespread flooding and landslides. Floods can cause widespread evacuations, injuries, and occasionally death. Heavy rain and mudslides can also lead to road closures and affect local transport links. Weather reports from the Disaster Management Center (http://www.dmc.gov.lk/index.php?lang=en) should be followed and travel in the monsoon season should be avoided. The sea in Sri Lanka is often characterized by strong currents and many tourists drown in it every year. Before entering the sea, it is necessary to heed the orders of the local authorities. Nudism and topless tanning are not allowed. A casual style of clothing is common in Sri Lanka. However, it is advisable to cover your legs and knees when visiting Buddhist temples. Mishandling Buddhist images and artefacts is a serious offense and tourists are often fined for it. Do not take photos in front of the Buddha statue.
Usual sales hours are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
A large number of religious holidays are celebrated in Sri Lanka. Usual working hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Public transport and movement within the country
You can only travel to Sri Lanka by air. Regular shipping from India to Sri Lanka was stopped in 1983 and has not been resumed. To drive in Sri Lanka, you need an international driver’s license and permission from the Sri Lankan authorities. Despite the construction of new roads, many roads, especially outside the capital, are not in very good condition. Traffic accidents are quite common, especially at night. We do not recommend traveling by bus, they are often overcrowded and often in poor technical condition. There are several railway lines in Sri Lanka, but there is a risk of accidents in cases where passengers are hung out of doors. When traveling by train, you may encounter theft of personal belongings. Taxis are relatively cheap. Motorized rickshaws (tuk-tuks) are available in cities and larger villages. Agree on the price in advance and for safety reasons do not travel on them at night.
During your stay in Sri Lanka, you must in any case observe the basic hygiene rules for staying in tropical countries, including the relevant vaccinations, or use of antimalarials, and increased caution when consuming food and beverages. In case of health problems, it is necessary to take into account that the commonly available health care is not at a level comparable to EU countries.
Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
Citizens of the Czech Republic need a work visa (usually issued for one year) and a work permit issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs of Sri Lanka to work in Sri Lanka. More detailed information at: http://www.immigration.gov.lk/
In case of health problems, it is necessary to take into account that the commonly available health care is not at a level comparable to EU countries. It is advisable to ask for a recommendation from a medical facility in higher category hotels. The list of recommended healthcare facilities in Sri Lanka can be obtained here: https://www.mzv.cz/jnp/cz/encyklopedie_statu/asie/sri_lanka/cestovani/health_care.html
Fairs and events
The most important trade fair in Sri Lanka is the “Sri Lanka Expo” held every year in Colombo ( http://www.srilankaexpo.com/index.php ). An overview of trade shows and exhibitions can be obtained from the website https://www.srilankabusiness.com or http://10times.com/sri-lanka/tradeshows.
Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)
Emergency service: 110
National Security Line: 118
Government Aid: 1919
Important web links and contacts
https://www.gov.lk/welcome.html – Sri Lankan government portal
www.nationalchamber.lk – National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka
www.chamber.lk – Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
www.boi.lk/ – The Board of Investment
www.fccisl.lk – Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry
www.statistics.gov.lk – Dept. of Census and Statistics
www.customs.gov.lk – Customs Administration
www.bizdirectory.lk – Database of companies and business opportunities
www.sltda.gov.lk – Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority
www.employers.lk – The Employers’ Federation of Sri Lanka
www.nce.lk – National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka