Just another day @ the Sri Lanka Customs Office

Oh boy what a day it was! I spent a good 5 hrs at the Sri Lankan Airport cargo office on Friday trying to clear a 3" tiny piece of memory which I had ordered for my Toshiba L1 laptop.

I didn't really expect this to be held by customs in the first place, considering its size, weight, cost and the fact it was a 256MB chip (quite outdated by todays memory standards). I was also misled by FedEx's tracking comments which gave no indication of the shipment being held at customs but stated that it was on its way for delivery. It was only when the courier guy came and handed a letter I knew what happened. What was more amusing was the next update on FedEx's tracking site - Goods delivered.

I called up FedEx and they said in order for them to clear it I had to get apply for a VAT number which seemed like an unnecessary hassle. They did suggest I go to the customs and try to sort it out myself - thank you FedEx for getting me FedUp!

So I made my way to Katunayake which turned out to be a real Katu (needle) trip :) Granted you have to go through a strip search of the vehicle and get two passes, one for the person and another for the vehicle, considering the current security situation is understandable. What really ticked me off was the series of events that happened after I got in.

To be continued ...


Unknown said…
Hi Buddhika
I also get some small items for overseas and I noticed FedEx local agent has very lousy service. If it is not a document they will just come and dump the document at your doorstep and leave you to go thought terrible custom hassle. Never use Fedex, ask your shipper to use DHL. My corporate office in US uses Fedex as default so if they send items in Fedex I am royally screwed. So insit sending on DHL and they thing are “flexible”. You can reach me on rohithasub at g mail com
Anonymous said…
Where's the rest of this story????
geekaholic said…
Oh! Did I not complete the story? Well it's been a long time and I can barely remember the details. What I remember is wasting the whole day mostly waiting, paying a lot of money as holding fees to Sri Lankan airlines & VAT to the customs. In the end it left a bitter taste for ordering anything online and getting it delivered here. I believe, I had not ordered anything physical to a local address since then.

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