Federation of Chambers of
Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka

Restriction imposed by the Ministry of Public Security Law and Order

Ministry of Public Security Law and Order has Imposed Restriction on Importation of Computer Colour Printers, Photocopiers and Scanners. Presently all the imports of above equipments will be released with the prior approval of the Ministry of Public Security Law and Order.

The Sri Lanka Association…

Ministry of Public Security Law and Order has Imposed Restriction on Importation of Computer Colour Printers, Photocopiers and Scanners. Presently all the imports of above equipments will be released with the prior approval of the Ministry of Public Security Law and Order.

The Sri Lanka Association of Printers (SLAP), a member body of the FCCISL has received several complaints from the importers as well as from some users. In a study carried by the SLAP found the ministry of Public Security Law and Order has issued letters to some importers mentioning due to the present security situation the following items are not allowed to import.

  • A computer colour printer with a capability of 4800dpi resolution
  •  computer colour scanner with a capability of 4800dpi resolution
  • A computer colour all in one (scanner, printer, copier) with a capability of 4800dpi resolution.

It is difficult to understand why such a restriction has been imposed under the heading of due to the present security situation. The present security situation is quite different from that of the past and the country had gone through even worse security conditions in the past.

However, the bottom line is that this kind of restrictions can affect badly the Printing and Graphic Media Industry as well as to the other businesses in many ways. In order to produce quality in this industry the Scanners and Printers are very important as basic equipment and restrictions on such equipments will definitely have adverse effects on the industry. Preset printing industry is more than a local industry and it is a global industry. Most of the print products are produced as value added products to make the final product for export, without having the proper colours, images and the quality of the print even though the product is good that product will not be marketable in the global market place. The buyers are demanding more and more quality in the print and we do not see a way with a restriction to the above equipment as to how Sri Lankan printers and graphic media companies can address the issue of the high quality demanded by the overseas and local buyers.

It is also found that one reason for this restriction is counterfeit currency printing in Sri Lanka. We believe that the relevant authorities should deal with the subject and find the people involve in such activities and punish them with the existing law. In case if the present law has any weak areas the solution is obvious to amend the law to suite the present day needs. We do not see the restriction to import high quality equipment will stop the criminal or unethical activities of this nature.

If this is the reason for counterfeit document printing there will be some more issues related to this area. What about the present high quality equipments available in the market? Offset printing machines are used world wide to print currency and is Sri Lanka going to ban the printing machines too?

When the Sri Lanka Association of Printers checked this situation with the government printer it was found that for the last year there were 12 cases of forge currency printing which had been reported to them. According to the government printer out of the 12 cases none of them has used high resolution scanners or printers for this purpose. The scanners used are either 300 x 600dpi or 600 x 1200dpi. This is a clear example that the persons involved in this kind of activities are not using such high quality equipments and if there is any restriction that will affect the legitimate businesses and the genuine users in the related industries only.

The Sri Lanka Association of Printers would like to urge the Ministry of Public Security Law and Order to remove this restriction immediately.