This follows a recent meeting between URA’s Commissioner General, John Musinguzi, and members of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and other industry players in the clearing and forwarding industry.
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is to consider mechanisms of relaxing import clearance procedures to facilitate trade and support importers.
This follows a recent meeting between URA’s Commissioner General, John Musinguzi, and members of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and other industry players in the clearing and forwarding industry, during which the traders expressed their concern about the need to relax import clearance through the mandatory WT8 document.
The WT8 document is a transit entry that requires all documents concerning imports to be declared before the goods arrive in the country. Such documents include; proforma invoices, bills of lading, commercial invoices, proof of payment, packing lists, and credit agreements, among others.
Speaking on behalf of the traders, Kenneth Ayebare, the Director transport and logistics PSFU, requested that goods should be allowed to enter Uganda for warehousing and management with or without the WT8 entry, adding that it is costly to keep imports in a foreign country after the expiry of 21 stipulated days.
In response, Musinguzi told the traders that the implementation of the WT8 criteria is authorised by the World Customs Organization, of which Uganda is a member. He, however, noted that URA will consider using the transaction value (method one) without necessarily rejecting it to facilitate trade and support importers.
He also advised the executives to report cases of corruption that emanate from URA staff as the Authority weeds out bad elements in the chain of importation of goods in Uganda. Musinguzi said this will facilitate trade and improve revenue collections for the country’s transformation.
“There are a few officers who demand bribes to clear goods.” “We are fighting the vice, and I implore you to reject and report them when you meet them,” he said.
Musinguzi also agreed to a proposal for joint sensitisation programs geared towards empowering importers on the importance of WT8, which is the primary declaration document at the first point of entry.
The meeting brought together executives from PSFU, Uganda Clearing Industry and Forwarding Association (UCIFA), Uganda Cargo Consolidators Association (UCCA), Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), Uganda Freight Forwarders Association (UFFA) and URA senior management.