Traders in Kampala under their umbrella body Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) have given revenue collection body Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) commissioner for customs Dickson Kateshumbwa a one-week ultimatum to meet with them and revoke a public notice which he issued instructing all traders to pay the taxes of their imported goods at the first ports before entering Uganda.
On 19th October 2019, Kateshumbwa issued a notice titled “Restriction on warehousing of imported goods” to all traders to have their goods facilitated under the single customs territory arrangement, where taxes have to be paid upon arrival of goods at the first ports of entry into East African community.
The notice became effective the following day of 20th October 2019.
Products such as sugar, milled and broken rice of HS code 1006.30 and 1006.40, wines and spirits, building materials, motor vehicle tyres and tubes, motorcycle tyres and tubes, dentifrices, garments of all kinds, footwear of all kinds among are affected by the notice.
Currently, traders pay taxes to URA after their goods have reached Kampala.
They say paying taxes at first ports has many associated risks such as theft of their goods among others
KACITA spokesperson Mr Issa Ssekito revealed today that the association’s top leadership headed by chairman Everest Kayondo yesterday had a meeting with URA corporate affairs manager Vincent Seruma and the commissioner for compliance and enforcement and discussed the matter.
The meeting resolved that for now, traders whose goods are at the first ports of entry such as Dar es Salam, Mombasa be allowed to enter Uganda and have taxes paid after they have arrived meaning that the notice had been suspended.
“However, this does not mean that the notice has been formally withdrawn,” said Ssekito
This is means that it will be brought back anytime.
The meeting also resolved that traders organise a date and meet with URA officials to explain to them the significance of paying taxes at first ports of entry which led to today’s meeting.
After a meeting of KACITA top leadership and URA officials yesterday, today the association held another meeting with traders to announce what transpired yesterday and get a way forward.
Today’s meeting was full of drama as traders slammed URA and unanimously agreed to meet no one else other than Kateshumbwa to revoke the notice.
Traders unanimously agreed and set Tuesday next week at 10:00 am to meet Mr Kateshumbwa in person to explain to them why tax should be paid at first ports and “formally withdraw” the notice.
If the notice is not withdrawn, traders unanimously agreed to protest by closing their shops in the whole country.
Traders also rejected the proposal by URA to meet them in accordance with the goods that sell. They said URA must meet them altogether without dividing them.