Central Bank suspends importation of motor vehicles

The Central Bank has suspended the importation of all types of motor vehicles other than those excluded specifically under Banking Act Directions No.01 of 2020, under Letters of Credit.

As per the provisions of the Monetary Law Act No. 58 of 1949, the Banking Act No. 30 of 1988, and the Foreign Exchange Act No. 12 of 2017, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka introduced several measures to ease the pressure on the exchange rate and prevent financial market panic due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accordingly, licensed commercial banks and National Savings Bank have been directed to adopt a number of measures during the next three months, with immediate effect.

The measures include suspending facilitating the importation of all types motor vehicles, other than those excluded specifically under Banking Act Directions No.01 of 2020, under Letters of Credit, suspending facilitating the importation of non-essential goods specified in Banking Act Directions No.01 of 2020, under Letters of Credit, Documents Against Acceptance and Advance Payment and suspending the purchase of Sri Lanka International Sovereign Bonds by licensed banks in Sri Lanka.

In addition, Authorised Dealers of foreign exchange are allowed to issue foreign currency notes as travel allowance only up to a maximum of USD 5,000 (or its equivalent in other foreign currency).

The Central Bank said it will continue to monitor market developments and take further measures as required, while ensuring adequate liquidity in the market in order to facilitate smooth operations and sustain market confidence amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. (Colombo Gazette)

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