The Central Bank has imposed 100% cash margin on selected on-essential and non-urgent imports with immediate effect.
It said the move is with a view to preserving the stability of the exchange rate and foreign currency liquidity in the banking system.
The 100% non-interest bearing cash margin should be kept on the invoiced value of imports specified in Annex I, made under Documents against Acceptance (DA) and Documents against Payment (DP) terms.
In the case of existing DAs and DPs covering the importation of goods covered by these Directions, no increase in the value of such DAs and DPs shall be permitted unless such increase is covered by the cash margin deposits as required.
Such non-interest bearing cash margin shall be placed by the importer with the bank that releases documents, at the time of acceptance of documents by the importer or at the time of making the endorsement by the licensed bank.
Such non-interest bearing cash margin requirement shall be on the total value of the invoice.
Banks have to endorse the invoice to the effect that the margin deposit has been obtained. The margin deposit shall be released on providing documentary evidence on payments through the banking channels in Sri Lanka and customs documents relating to clearance of imports.
CBSL has also told banks not to grant any loan facilities to enable importers to place the margin deposits in respect of these imports.