The Custom Duty amounting to more than Rs.38 million on the scrap metal from the recently dismantled Jordanian-owned ship Farah-3 off the Mullaitivu coast have not been paid so far, Daily Mirror learns.
The Customs Department said it was not aware as to the identity of the buyer to whom the ship was sold.
The duties include CESS, National Building Tax and the Port and Airport Authority Development levy which adds up to Rs.19.20 a Kilo of scrap metal.
Sources said the Customs Jaffna Branch had sent repeated written requests to the head office in Colombo to take action and compel the owner to pay the duty but to no avail.
According to the gazette published by the Sri Lanka Army, tenders were closed on July 30, 2013 for the “sale of the merchant vessel for scrap”.
The description provided by the Army states that the ship is “140 metres in length, 20 metres wide at the centre and weighing some 2000 metric tonnes.
Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini confirmed that the buyer had not paid the duty on the scrap metal.
“We have not received it yet but the process is ongoing that is all I can say” he told Daily Mirror.
Mr. Gamini said the buyer was obliged to pay Customs Duty.
“The ship is not a Sri Lankan ship and therefore it falls under the category of imported goods when dismantling it for commercial purposes,” he said.
Daily Mirror learns that its four months since the dismantling of the ship, the period for negotiations and subsequent payment has elapsed.
The ship which was first taken into custody by the LTTE was later used by the military before it was transformed into a ‘sightseeing’ wreck for tourists visiting the war zone. (Hafeel Farisz)