No legal barrier to import cryptocurrency mining machines

It is reported that Customs officials have been severely inconvenienced due to a letter by the Director General of Customs by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRCSL).

The letter in question informs Sri Lanka Customs that the TRCSL has no objection to the release of a cryptocurrency mining machine that the Customs had previously refused to release.

Earlier this year, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) had warned the public the risks of investing in virtual currencies in Sri Lanka as they are not subject to any supervision or regulation.

The relevant notice is as follows :

Screenshot 2021 11 28 at 18.54.19
According to the letter, the item in question named as Aluminium Alloy Controller/USE for computing is said to have been brought down under the Air Bill No. 286276613122.

The no object letter issued by the TRCSL is as follows :

WhatsApp Image 2021 11 28 at 10.16.13 AM

Namal’s committee 

Cryptocurrencies operate on computer codes and are very different from the money that is physically circulated among the public issued by central banks. These virtual currencies, such as the well known Bitcoin, have become quite popular in recent times. 

In early October 2021, Minister of Project Coordinating and Monitoring Namal Rajapaksa appointed a 8-member committee to report to the Cabinet on the Acts, Rules and Regulations to attract investments and investors in the areas of Digital Banking, Blockchain & Blockchain related industries such as cryptocurrency. The committee was appointed after cabinet approval was granted for the move.

No legal barrier

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Fuel Media Inc. says that there is no legal barrier in Sri Lanka against the importation of cryptocurrency mining machines.

The spokesperson was responding to the Sinhala version of this news item published on ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ earlier today (28).

He added that the machine in question had been imported for research purposes.

Responding to queries raised by ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’, Customs Media Spokesman, Deputy Director of Customs (Legal Affairs)  – Sudaththa Silva also said that since these machines fall under the category of data processing machines, there is no legal barrier to import them.

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