Sri Lanka’s imported menstrual products are taxed at 52% with border tariffs and the local VAT contributing to this total tax rate. Sri Lanka’s border taxes are a mixture of tariffs and a number of additional levies referred to as para tariffs. Taxes on imported products reduce competition in the market and tend to result in higher retail prices overall. These price increases and the unaffordability they cause, result in period poverty, defined as the inability to afford menstrual products.
The Assisting Communities in Creating Environmental and Nutritional Development (ACCEND) project developed the ”Taxing Menstrual Hygiene Products in Sri Lanka: a policy analysis” together with Advocata Institute. The study focuses on understanding the impact this cumulative tax has on the country’s rate of period poverty, its impact on low-income menstruating women and girls, and the costs and benefits to the state of repealing the tax.
The ACCEND Project is implemented jointly by ADRA Sri Lanka and Oxfam Sri Lanka and is funded by the European Union.