Duty-free shops are retail outlets that do not apply local or national taxes and duties, in most instances. In the first place, whenever someone travels to Sri Lanka by air, the first thing on the bucket list is “What can I buy from Duty Free Sri Lanka?” Although one can buy only in limited quantities, Duty-free shopping in Sri Lanka has many benefits by way of reduced prices. Incidentally, this is a great deal for passengers arriving in Sri Lanka as they can shop for their favourite goodies: 365, 24×7 at the airport before clearing off their baggage.

Guide to Duty Free Sri Lanka: Departures

There are two separate Duty-free shops in Sri Lanka. One for the departure lounge and one for the transit or arrival. Particularly, if you are a local, or a foreigner leaving Sri Lanka, after their holiday, the duty-free departure lounge has some super offers to note. The main advantage is the duty-free prices are very much less than the local market price. In this area, travelers can buy products ranging from alcoholic beverages, fashion, food, and more.

When buying at departure duty free know your duty free limits!

In addition, if you wish, you can give the perfect gift with a bottle of liquor of great international prestige, since the store has a great variety of local and international alcoholic beverages. However, when buying duty-free you must be aware of the duty-free limit of the country you wish to travel from Sri Lanka. Also, most Islamic countries do not allow passengers to carry alcohol. The best option here is to ask before purchasing.  

In particular, more often than not, there are instances where the plane crews have asked to keep aside liquid items from the hand luggage before boarding. For one thing, in such a scenario, the money you spent on that tempting bottle of wine would go to waste. Yes! You can buy a classy tee shirt from Odel along with some cashew nuts or chocolate if you wish. However, if you are on transit or you have oodles of time for your flight, duty-free window shopping is sure to way to kill some time.

Pre-departure shopping at the airport

Especially, if you are a foreigner, the departure lounge has many shops selling Sri Lankan handicrafts although, these are hugely overpriced for locals at the airport. Having said that, this is peaceful heaven to buy presents and souvenirs. The following shops selling the best quality Ceylon tea, cinnamon, and cashew take my pick.

Kapruka tip: Some of the Sri Lankan souvenirs at the departure lounge are really overpriced. Suggest you shop for your Sri Lankan souvenirs at Lakpahana as the prices there are reasonable and controlled.

Guide to Duty-free: Transit| Arrivals

Once customs stamp your visa at the immigration passport counter, you have a choice of shopping for duty-free items within your duty-free allocation. The duty-free area is easy to find, as this will be the area you will walk into after immigration formalities are fulfilled. Of course, the duty-free shops at the transit/arrival lounge of the Bandaranaike International Airport have an extensive range of well-known brands of liquor, hi-fi equipment, watches, cameras, perfumes, cosmetics and electrical appliances and more. Of course, for most, their favourite buys are purchasing liquor brands and electronics.

As far as promotions go, at the Sri Lanka duty-free, they have quite a few. To avail duty-free promotions, you could browse the Sri Lanka duty-free website.

Meanwhile, the best news is you can shop online at the Sri Lanka duty-free beforehand, and pick it up at the designated counter when you arrive in Sri Lanka. All in all, in most instances, duty-free promotions apply to liquor, confectionery, and beauty (perfumes) products at the Sri Lanka duty-free.

Shopping for Electronics

Some duty-free shops selling electronics products allow you to select & reserve products for your convenience online. Most often, the items booked via their website will be ready for collection upon your arrival at the airport. Under those circumstances, it’s ideal if one makes their reservation 7 days before their arrival to Sri Lanka. (Sri Lankan Passport Holders Only). For example, popular electronics duty-free shops include, Abans, Singer, Singhagiri and Softlogic. Consequently, pricing varies by shop, but shoppers shouldn’t expect deep, deep discounts.

If you take time to browse the following duty catalogues from Abans and Singer you can easily come to the conclusion of the respective USD price and local market price.  

Abans: https://buyabans.com/dutyfree/shop

Singer: https://www.singersl.com/duty-free-products

Softlogic: https://mysoftlogic.lk/duty-free

Abans duty-free shop is popular for consumer electronics

Dutyfree allowance (residents – Sri Lankan passport holders)

2.5L of spirits and 2L of wine. Up to US$125 personal items annually if the period abroad is less than 90 days. Up to US$500 of personal items annually if the period abroad is between 90 to 365 days. Furthermore, up to US$1000 of personal items annually, if the period abroad is over 365 days.

Duty-free allowance (non-residents,  meaning overseas passport holders)

The following items may be imported into Sri Lanka by visitors 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.

Benefits of shopping duty-free

For one, the prices are really cheap if you are a Sri Lankan. You cannot simply buy most products sold at the duty-free cheaply outside. Especially, imported liquor and electronics are comparatively more costly in the outside market as it includes all taxes and duties. For instance, buying a significant electronics item like a fridge, oven, or a large LED TV from duty-free makes sense.

Depending on the local tax structure, though, the savings can be significant for certain items – up to 20% or even 30%, in products with high tax rates. Further, savings are especially noticeable on ‘vice’ goods such as alcohol and cigarettes, since those items tend to be taxed at higher rates. Incidentally, cosmetics, and clothing, may actually be more expensive at duty-free shops than at local shops.


Particularly, in 2023 thousands of tourists and Sri Lankans living or working overseas have begun to travel to Sri Lanka. Hence, many search for “Duty Free Sri Lanka” digitally. In this respect, Sri Lanka tourism authorities intendants to attract 2 million international travelers in 2023. This is a positive sign for the country, as tourism was once a highly lucrative industry in Sri Lanka.

Whatever the outcome, be it a Sri Lankan visitor or an overseas tourist, Duty Free Sri Lanka has some attractive duty-free offers to avail. To this effect, alcoholic beverages, wine, and confectionery top the list as the most popular items for duty-free shopping. Having said that consumer electronics demand is on the ascendance and Sri Lankans working overseas in greater number travel to Sri Lanka for their vacations. Due to this reason, Duty Free Sri Lanka is a hot topic as it has become a key touch point to access the most sought-after products under one roof.      

Kavalan Oloroso Oak Single Malt Whisky

See Price

Kavalan Podium Single Malt Whisky 46 ABV 700ml

See Price


See Price