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All journalists/media personnel coming to Sri Lanka need to obtain visa from prior to their arrival in Colombo. Media accreditation will not be recommended for media personnel who obtain tourist visas on arrival at the airport, which is intended only for tourism purposes.
A list of equipment carried by TV media should be sent to the Public Communications Division/Ministry of External Affairs through the this mission in advance, to facilitate clearance at airport Customs. The list should be accompanied by a letter of undertaking from the relevant media organisation that the equipment would be carried out of the country upon the departure of the media personnel.
All foreign media working in Sri Lanka are required to obtain media accreditation from the Government Information Department, issued upon recommendation from the External Affairs Ministry. All visiting media are therefore requested to contact the Public Communications Division of the Ministry of External Affairs upon arrival in Colombo regarding media accreditation.
Journalists should obtain a temporary import document known as Carnet for their professional cameras and media equipment to facilitate immediate customs clearance. In the absence of a Carnet he or she should submit a bank guarantee for the value of imported items. If the visit is sponsored by any state institution, a guarantee letter from the institution to ensure that the equipment will be re-exported is required.
Personal cameras and personal video equipment need not be declared. The Carnet/bank Guarantee/ Guarantee letter from the state institution is required for professional media equipment only.
A prior license from the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission is necessary for telephone equipment such as satellite phones
Tourism Promotional Documentaries
Media teams coming to film tourism promotional documentaries, or taking part in Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) familitarisation tours, are required to fill the SLTB Selection Criteria for Journalists/TV crews for FAM tours form, which is available at all Sri Lanka Missions.
The SLTB requires at least 30 working days for processing the relevant documents prior to the scheduled commencement of the project. Such media teams should also have a ground handling team who will be coordinating the project in Sri Lanka.
Filming in Wild Life Protected Areas
Media teams coming to film tourism promotional documentaries, or taking part in Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) familitarisation tours, are required to fill the SLTB Selection Criteria for Journalists/TV crews for FAM toursform, which is available at all Sri Lanka Missions.
Filming documentaries/feature films
Filming of all other documentaries and feature films, other than tourism promotional films and wildlife related documentaries, require prior approval by the National Film Corporation (NFC).
Media teams are required to complete the NFC agreement, available with Sri Lanka Missions, and submit it along with the synopsis of the documentary, itinerary of the media team while in Sri Lanka as well as locations of filming. At least one week is required to process these documents before the scheduled commencement of the project.