Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has advised traders who import rice, garments, and fabric goods via long-distance buses to declare their goods upon arrival. The goal is to facilitate swift and efficient release from the Document Processing Center (DPC).
Over 300 importers expressed their concerns during this meeting, particularly regarding the new clearance procedures, which now require clearance from the DPC.
Katongole Godfrey, the Chairperson of the Kampala Arcades Traders Association (KATA), highlighted the issue of goods deteriorating at the borders and emphasized the need for rapid evaluation to ensure timely access to markets.
URA’s Commissioner of Customs, Abel Kagumire, urged importers to declare their goods promptly. He emphasized that it is not in the URA’s interest to withhold goods, as it can affect revenue collection if the goods remain unsold.
Rice importers also raised the issue of their trucks being held at the Mutukula Border post. In response, Kagumire revealed that some traders were importing rice from locations outside the East African region but declaring it as sourced from Tanzania. To determine the rice’s true origin, URA has taken samples for testing.
Under the East African Community Common External Tariff (EAC-CET), the importation of rice from outside the EAC is subject to a 75% import duty rate. However, rice sourced from within the EAC is exempt from import duty. To claim this exemption, the taxpayer must possess a certificate of origin that verifies the country of origin for the goods.