Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and, reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 7/22/2019
eCommerce is growing.  All commercial banks have online banking services.  Travel companies, hotels, and a few large retailers have online trading services.  eCommerce companies offer customers in Sri Lanka access to millions of global products.  The government has committed to increase the use of online applications and payments for government services.  Additional government web portals for filing of tax returns, payment of taxes, renewing of revenue licenses are also available and

Most of the global eCommerce sites including PayPal are available in Sri Lanka, but have limitations due to an inadequate refund mechanism and inward receipts.  A 2.5 percent stamp duty applies to usage of credit cards issued by Sri Lankan banks for transactions converted into a foreign currency.  Transactions in local currency are exempted from this duty. 
Currently there is no local body which regulates eCommerce businesses in Sri Lanka.  Increased competition from international eCommerce sites such as and Airbnb have resulted in demands by the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) for the government to consider regulating eCommerce businesses.  

Domestic B2C eCommerce sites have seen a significant growth since within the last several years.  A wide variety of consumer products can be purchased through eCommerce sites including groceries, apparel and electronics.  Small and medium enterprises are also increasingly using social media sites to advertise products, take orders and accept payments. 
Cross border eCommerce is limited to purchases of products from popular overseas sites such as ebay and Amazon.  Numerous local eCommerce companies sell imported goods.

eCommerce Services

Internet access is growing.  The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) reported in 2018 that 58.8 percent of the population has mobile-broadband access and 34.1 percent of the population uses the internet regularly.  Mobile phone penetration is also high reaching 115.1 per 100 inhabitants.  Sri Lanka’s private telecommunications companies have led the expansion of 3G and 4G and have started pilot applications of 5G technology.  Financial institutions are also developing the related services of payment gateways to offer reliable online payment services to support the expansion of eCommerce.

The Electronic Transactions Act No.19 of 2006 facilitates eCommerce by removing legal barriers and ensuring legal certainty both within Sri Lanka and internationally. Several other laws also support eCommerce such as the Evidence Act No. 14 of 1995, Payment and Settlement Systems Act No. 28 of 2005, Payment Devices Frauds Act No 30 of 2006, and the Computer Crimes Act of No 24 of 2007.  Following the ratification of the UN Electronic Commissions Convention (UNECC) by Sri Lanka in 2015, the government amended the Electronic Transactions Act in 2017 to provide greater legal validity for eCommerce and eBusiness providers, and ensure international validity of such e-contracts.  

The government is currently using an e-service gateway to streamline certain government services. The Inland Revenue Department has recently enabled filing of tax returns through the Inland Revenue web service portal ( Vehicle revenue licenses can be renewed online (

eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights

eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights are protected under several laws:
Evidence (Special Provisions) Act No.14 of 1995, The Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003, Electronic Transactions  Act No. 19 of 2006, and the Computer Crimes Act No. 24 of 2007.  An infringer who offers counterfeit products for sale online could be held liable under the Intellectual Property law.

Popular eCommerce Sites
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Sri Lanka eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce