Importing EVs opens to Lankan workers abroad


A programme to allow Sri Lankan migrant workers to import electric vehicles (EVs) was launched yesterday (20) by the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment.

Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara handed over the vehicle import permit to the first recipient’s nominee.

Nanayakkara on the occasion noted that the programme has been much appreciated and inquiries in this regard by workers are increasing on a daily basis.

“Any Sri Lankan who lives, works or holds dual citizenship in a foreign country are eligible to import an electric vehicle under the scheme. Those sending USD 20,000 or more between 1 May 2022 and 31 December 2022 can obtain a permit to import an electric car. Those who remit USD 3,000 or more via official channels from 1 May 2022 to May 2023 are eligible to import an electric motorcycle,” he added.

Nanayakkara emphasised that it is mandatory for remittances to be sent via legal channels such as the banking system to be eligible for this benefit.

He further said that 50 per cent of the money sent must be converted into rupees and added that a motorcycle or car can be imported for a value not exceeding 50 per cent of the amount remitted.

Nanayakkara further said, “Importing vehicles to Sri Lanka is currently prohibited. But only Sri Lankan workers who send foreign remittance to the country have the facility to import EVs. Similarly, the tax levied on the import of luxury vehicles will also be revised in the future. But the permission is only to import EVs. These vehicles must be unused and either brand new or with zero millage. Similarly, it is mandatory to import the vehicle within one year.”

The battery pack and electric motor of this imported vehicle should have a warranty of at least three years. This should be ensured by the manufacturer, importer and exporter, Nanayakkara added.

“It should also be ensured that the battery is disposed in accordance with international electric vehicle road safety standards and approved standard procedures. The remittances sent to Sri Lanka can be converted into rupees and the taxes for this can be paid. They must also be subject to Department of Motor Vehicles compliance. A car should have at least 200 km mileage after charging once. Similarly, a report of all money remitted to Sri Lanka should be submitted through the relevant bank,” he added.

Nanayakkara further said that the relevant application and information can be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Labour or the Foreign Employment Bureau.

 “The vehicle imported in this way cannot be transferred to a third party until two years after registration,” he added.