The rate of CESS levy imposed on a total of 637 items under 187 HS codes has been amended with effect from November 15.

In his capacity as the Minister of Investment Promotion, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued the relevant government notification on November 14, by virtue of the powers vested in him by Section 14 of Export Development Act No. 40 of 1979.

Thereby, the prices of imported items such as butter, dairy spreads, cheese, curd, onions, garlic, several vegetables and fruits, soap, wet wipes, cement, notebooks, exercise books, air conditioning machines, household or laundry washing machines, and ballpoint pens will be increased.

Ministry of Finance, however, noted that the CESS rate revision will affect the prices of any imported essential items.