Sri Lanka Antiques and Antique Furniture Export

Sri Lanka attract antique collectors from all over the world because of its attractive colonial antiques and reproduction of British, Portuguese, Dutch & Sri Lankan style furniture to ornaments, Moorish porcelain, brass lamps and pottery. Ambalangoda and Galle Fort are the most famous for antiques. There are several shops in Colombo where prices are somewhat higher than along the west coast.

It is very important to have a better understanding about the export controls and licensing regulations in relation to antiques in Sri Lanka. Objects which date or may reasonably be believed to date from a period prior to the 2nd day of March 1815 are considered as Cultural Property and may not be exported from Sri Lanka. This includes Statues, Sculptured or dressed stone and marbles of all descriptions, engravings, carvings inscriptions, paintings, writings and the material whereon the same appearance, appear, all specimens of ceramic, glyptic, metallurgic and textile art, coins, gems, seals, jewels, jewellery, arms, tools, ornaments and all other objects of art which are movable property from the ancient era.

There are also restrictions on the export of rare books, palm leave manuscripts and rare anthropological material. Permits are necessary from the Director of National Archives and the Archaeological Commissioner for the export of rare books and palm leaf manuscripts and antiques (sometimes allowed on special application). Articles more than 50 years old are considered antiques.