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Traders to March in protest of URA rules

FILE PHOTO: Freight trucks packed waiting for clearance

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | Kampala traders will on Tuesday march in protest of import rules by Uganda Revenue Authority-URA which they say has made it impossible for them to do business.

The march, according to Kampala City Traders’ Association (Kacita) executive director Everest Kayondo, will involve clearing agents, warehouse owners, and importers.

The traders are protesting a URA directive issued last week listing ten goods that would no longer be eligible for customs warehousing at the port of entry. This means that traders would be required to bring in goods, clear taxes immediately and then continue to final destination.

Kayondo told reporters on Friday that they have 5,000 members and they will march around Kampala and then deliver a document to Minister of Trade Amelia Kyambadde at her office off Jinja road.

The gazetted goods are sugar, milled and broken rice, building materials, wines and spirits (except the duty-free ones), motor vehicle tyres and tubes, motorcycle tyres and tubes, dentifrices, garments of all kinds and footwear of all kinds, and imported cars of 14 years and above.

The small importers who bring in goods in group containers will only have 24 hours to arrange themselves and clear goods in question.

Kayondo said the directive was inhuman and anti-trade.

Also, Kayondo says that the document issued by URA was not specific on the exact goods they were targeting and they have realized that they have far-reaching impact than they thought.

Tom Byarugaba, the President of the federation of the customs agents and freight forwarders, said the order that all goods be cleared at port of entry means they didn’t have business any more. He said they had tried setting up in Kenya and Tanzania but governments there made it hard for them.

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