Tax Compliant Businesses To Get Preferential Treatment

see geneva; font-size: small;”>Launched under URA’s Customs department, medical the AEO seeks to facilitate trade and promote security of the international trade supply chain.

“It will help us build partnerships with businesses that consistently strive to comply with customs laws and regulations, and in return, such businesses will benefit from Customs preferential treatment,” said URA’s Customs Commissioner Richard Kamajugo at the inauguration of the first 10 companies at Kampala Serena on Thursday.

Companies that will subscribe to this arrangement will benefit from reduced border checks, less clearance time, port activities, training and consultations, payment of duties in installments, among others.

Nice House of Plastics, one of the companies that enrolled during the piloting, testified that they had since managed to increase their monthly trips to Mombasa from 2.5 to 5 times, due to reduced checks and other delays.

“We are now saving 50 percent on each containers transport, highly increased revenues and cut costs on port operations, we don’t have to follow up on various authorities, we spend less on man power, communications to KRA, URA, Police among others,” said Betty Kiguli from Nice House of plastics.

Kamajugo said all that companies require in terms of compliance to be enrolled for the program, is a good record keeping discipline.

“We want to come to your offices and find a systematic record keeping, preferably an automated one, to make it easy for us to audit and make follow ups,” he added.

“All processes and procedures must be in place so that we can now shift focus from controlling and seeing what you are doing, to doing only compliance tests, because we realized that the more we enforce controls, the more time it takes to handle cargo and we are losing much time and resources on this.”

Although Uganda is the first country in the region to introduce the AEO, and one among 45 nations in the world, different pilots are being run in the region beginning with Kenya, to ensure that Ugandan businesses’ benefits don’t stop in Uganda alone.

“We realized that if our traders are enjoying these benefits here, and harassed once they cross to Kenya, the whole program would be meaningless,” noted Kamajugo.

“We want to see exceptional treatment streaming all the way from Mombasa to one’s own work place.”

He added that, “Partnerships with other players such as police have also been opened up in the program, because we know that one may walk freely through a URA check point, and meet a police roadblock right ahead.”

The first 10 companies, which received certificates for enrolment in the AEO include: Toyota Uganda, Unifreight Cargo, DHL, B.A.T Uganda Ltd, Roofings, Nice House of Plastics, Jesa Farm Dairy, Steel and Tube Industries, Uganda Batteries, and Barole Logistics.


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