Standard Operating Procedure for local assembly of vehicles and component manufacturing to be launched

The Ministry of Industries spearheaded by Hon. Wimal Weerawansa is soon to launch the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Local Assembly of Vehicles and Automotive Component Manufacturing to encourage world renowned brands to locally assemble vehicles.

Dimantha Jayawardena, President of the Sri Lanka Automotive Component Manufacturers’ Association said that the new SOP has been prepared in keeping with the highest standards around the world. “This SOP has been prepared by the Policy Development Division of the Ministry of Industries in close collaboration with Ministry of Finance, Sri Lanka Customs, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Sri Lanka Automobile assemblers and Automobile Component Manufacturers. With the launch of the SOP it will become mandatory that vehicle assembly comply to the SOP and increase value addition for locally manufactured vehicles.

The SOP includes guidelines and standards for registration at the Department of Motor Traffic, BOI, Sri Lanka Customs and the Ministry of Industries and for the local assembly of vehicles.

It has also specified the necessary regulations for standardization of the assembling and manufacturing process, the automobiles and components, and the establishment of the assessment facilities. It also has guidelines for the exportation of assembled and manufactured vehicles and the recommended exemptions of excise duties.

Jayawardena also said, “The SOP clearly states that it is vital that the sector should be provided with the opportunity to expand itself in the domestic market at the first stage and in order to achieve this objective, there should be a substantial level of investment in the domestically value-added automobile manufacturing/assembly industry, which could create the demand for locally manufactured components increasing their quality and to achieve internationally renowned standards.

“This SOP includes all regulations, procedures and requirements related to different aspects of the industry, from the registration of an industry to the safety and quality standards applicable to the same and is subject to review and revision every five years.  Prospective local assemblers should be given the flexibility during the first two years to invest and start operations and adhere to the SOP guidelines within a 2-year time-frame.”

We expect more than 20,000 direct jobs and 25,000 indirect jobs to be created within the next 2 – 3 years. Currently SLACMA is working with the Ministry of Skills and Development together with NAITA and German Tech to absorb these students to the local assemblies.

The advantage of local manufacturing of automobiles allow technology transformation and technical training under some of the world’s best manufacturing standards such as Just In Time, 5S, KAISEN, LEAN Manufacturing, IATF 16949 and Six SIGMA standards. This will help our students to apply these manufacturing methods in other manufacturing industries.

“I must commend His Excellency the President for his vision of adding value to Sri Lankan products and services and in the process greatly enhancing the skill level of the local workforce.” He added.