The Sri Lanka Tea Board was established as a fully government-owned statutory institution by Act of Parliament on 1 January 1976. It was formed by amalgamating the Tea Control Department, the Tea Export Commissioner’s Department, the Ceylon Tea Propaganda Board and the Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka under Sri Lanka Tea Board Law No. 14 of 1975 (since amended by Acts No. 17 of 1985, No. 14 of 1990, No. 29 of 2003 and No. 44 of 2006). The Board exists under the purview of the Ministry of Plantation, The primary objects of the Sri Lanka Tea Board under the above Act are development of the tea industry in Sri Lanka, promotion of Ceylon (Sri Lankan) tea globally and the implementation of regulatory requirements to be followed by the industry.
Regulations concerning production, cultivation and replanting, the establishment and operation of tea factories and the conduct of the Colombo Tea Auctions are the responsibility, under the Act, of the Board. Its statutory responsibilities also include maintenance of tea quality standards, issuing packaging guidelines, warehousing requirements, etc., framed both under the Sri Lanka Tea Board Law and the Tea Control Act No. 51 of 1957 and the
Tea (Tax and Control of Exports) Act No. 16 of 1959.
In 1994 the Tea Research Institute was legally separated from the Sri Lanka Tea Board, its constitution and activities thereafter being governed by the Tea Research Board, then newly established under the Tea Research Board Act. No. 52 of 1993.