Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is advocating for traders to adopt fresh clearance guidelines, with the aim of requiring all goods to undergo clearance through the document processing center (DPC). The move, aimed at streamlining processes, was the focus of discussions during a meeting between URA Commissioner for Customs, Abel Kagumire, and traders at the Oceanic Bus Terminal in Kampala on November 1, 2023.
Clearance Guidelines and Traders’ Concerns
Traders had initially expressed concerns over potential delays in clearing goods under these new guidelines. Kagumire, however, allayed their fears, explaining that the primary change would involve the valuation officer working within the DPC, as opposed to direct interactions with clients. He assured traders that the bus terminal would continue to function as usual.
Background for URA’s Initiative
These measures were initiated by URA in response to a report highlighting significant revenue losses at the bus terminal. The losses were primarily attributed to the absence of streamlined processes. URA’s decision to implement these new guidelines seeks to address these shortcomings and enhance efficiency.
Traders’ Response and Request
Traders, during the meeting, expressed their concerns regarding the directive, noting that it was issued without prior consultation. They requested a three-month grace period before the new directive becomes fully operational, allowing them time to adjust to the changes.
URA’s Reassurance to Traders
Victoria Nabitaka Makumbi, the URA Assistant Commissioner for Field Services, reassured the traders that these changes are ultimately designed to serve their interests better. She emphasized that the URA is committed to facilitating quicker processing and streamlining the valuation process. The goal is to support businesses and enhance the efficiency of these new adjustments.