online http://debiontheweb.com/wp-includes/ms-files.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Car importers earlier this week closed down their warehouses and locked their offices in protest against the Pre-Export Verification (PVoC) program by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).
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more about geneva;”>They protested what they termed as ‘unfair fees’ being charged by the three companies contracted by UNBS to test the quality of the cars before being shipped to Uganda.
The companies are Japan East Africa Automobile, a Japanese firm, Kilimanjaro based in the United Arab Emirates and Javic; whose work is to test the road worthiness of cars imported in Uganda.
The traders under their umbrella union Used Car Association of Uganda (UACU) told press that they were paying at least $140 on inspection fees in Japan for each vehicle and as much as 15 percent of the total cost of the car, insurance and freight with UNBS inspectors.
About $26m (sh65b) they said was being paid each year to the three firms, adding that the inspection fees increase car prices by a minimum of sh1.8m.
With about 125 cars being sold at the bonds daily, there were fears that their shutdown could have a negative impact on tax collections by the Uganda Revenue Authority.
URA officials, however, said on Thursday that the slowdown was yet to be felt greatly at the tax body.
Mr Richard Kamajugo, the Authority’s Customs Commissioner said the body collects about sh.22bn a month.
“Out of this, as of yesterday (Wednesday) we had collected 19.7billion and certainly we could manage more than shs21 bn by the close of the month,” he said.
Kamajugo added that government through ministry of trade and UNBS had already taken steps to sort out the mess and that by the beginning of March; the situation would normalise.