FOLLOW US

World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > Sri Lanka

Money and duty free for Sri Lanka

Currency and Money

Currency information

Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR; symbol Rp) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of Rp2,000, 1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of Rp10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. There are also large numbers of commemorative coins in circulation.

Credit cards

MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted. American Express is also often accepted. The tourist board urges caution when paying by credit card due to the potential for fraud.

ATM

Major cities have ATMs, although not all will accept international cards, especially the national bank. It is advisable to try to have some cash at hand whilst travelling, particularly in rural areas.

Travellers cheques

Traveller's cheques are often not accepted so are not recommended.

Banking hours

Mon-Sat 0900-1300. Some city banks close at 1500, some even have night-time banking facilities.

Currency restrictions

The import of local currency is limited to Rp5000 and export is limited to Rp20,000. The import of notes from India and Pakistan is not allowed. Otherwise, the import of foreign currency is not restricted but all amounts over US$15,000 are subject to declaration at customs. Export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on import.

Currency exchange

Foreign currency can be changed at authorised exchanges, banks and hotels.

Sri Lanka duty free

Overview

The following items may be imported into Sri Lanka by persons over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:

• 2 bottles of wine and 1.5L of spirits.
• A small quantity of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette.
• Souvenirs up to US$250 in value.

There is no duty-free allowance for tobacco products. You must declare valuable items such as cameras and laptops on arrival and must take these out of the country again when you leave.

Banned Imports

Non-prescription drugs and pornography.

Banned Exports

Wild animals and their parts, coral, shells and protected marine products. Over 450 plants can only be exported with a licence.

You may only export antiques (items over 50 years old) with a permit from the Director of National Archives and the Director General of the Department of Archaeology.