Sri Lanka’s first-ever European Union (EU)-mandated GSP exporter listing call went live on the web yesterday.
“I commend the Commerce Department under our ministry for setting up this system and operationalising exactly on the first working day of 2018. We thank the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) for their support too,” said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday.
Bathiudeen was addressing the launch of Sri Lanka Commerce Department’s revamped website at doc.gov.lk, which for the first time also integrates the REX Registration system that will become a mandatory requirement for all exporters to the EU, those who want to claim the EU GSP Plus benefits.
Joining the event were Industry and Commerce Ministry Secretary K.D.N. Ranjan Ashoka and DG Commerce Sonali Wijeratne.
Sri Lanka’s total exports to the EU increased to US $ 3.1 billion in 2016 from 2015’s US $ 3 billion. Usually around 60 percent of it are apparel exports.
The REX Registration system that will become a mandatory requirement for all exporters to the EU –those who want to claim the EU GSP Plus benefits – the zero tariff-on their exports.
Approximately 3500 Lankan exporters are expected to register before the end of this year online through the doc.gov.lk site. (This registration is not required for Lankan exporters to the EU, who do not want to claim GSP Plus benefits. It is also not required for Lankan exporters who export to the EU and want to claim the GSP Plus benefits but their value of the export is less than 6000 euros).
The REX registration is free of charge. Once the online documents are submitted, printed copies of the submission too should be sent to the Commerce Department by the exporter, after which the department in Colombo, having conducted site and factory visits of the exporting company, will decide on awarding the unique ID number called the REX number (in the LK-REX [TIN] format), which the exporter will hold as a verification number of him over the long term and would be able to provide to any EU importer for verification at the importer’s end. This REX number is issued for long-term use and each registered exporter will receive his own REX number once they qualify through the Commerce Department, the deciding authority for Sri Lanka. Already 30 Lankan exporters to the EU have submitted and the department is processing them at present.
The exporters who want the EU GSP benefits cannot submit applications after December 31, 2018 and therefore, all such exporters need to complete and obtain their REX numbers within this year.
The exporters to the EU, who qualify and earn a REX number, are not required to submit certificates of origin (COO) but are only required to submit a statement of origin for their exports.
All details on REX registration are accessible online at the revamped Commerce Department website at Doc.gov.lk>Our Services>REX System Registration.
According to the Commerce Department, there are more than 5000 Lankan exporters registered with the department to export under various trade agreements and facilities (such as FTAs, APTA, SAFTA, GSP Plus, etc.) and 3500 of them are exporting to the EU under the GSP Plus facility and who are now called complete their listing on or before December 31, 2018, totally free of charge.