The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has said it recently acquired a state-of-the-art machine to facilitate comprehensive tests on imported rice, enabling the determination of its country of origin.
The National Agricultural Research Organization has provided this advanced machine to support URA in its efforts.
This acquisition comes at a crucial time when trucks transporting rice imports from Tanzania have been detained at the Mutukula border due to suspicions of importing mixed rice from various sources.
According to the East African Community Common External Tariff (EAC-CET), the importation of rice from outside the EAC is subject to a 75% import duty, while rice sourced from within the EAC enjoys a 0% import duty.
Importing mixed rice results in misdeclaration and potential revenue loss. By acquiring this testing machine, URA aims to effectively address these issues, ensuring prompt clearance of legitimate imports and curbing any leakage.
During an engagement with rice importers held at the URA headquarters in Nakawa last week, Commissioner General John Musinguzi emphasised URA’s commitment to creating a level playing field and promoting fair competition.
Hence, the authority remains vigilant regarding rice originating from outside the East African community.
Musinguzi further reported that 85% of the previously detained trucks at Mutukula have been released following thorough tests conducted by URA’s Tax Investigations department.
These tests aimed to establish the rice’s origin, and the majority of the shipments were confirmed to be from Tanzania.
“We conducted extensive research to determine the rice’s source, and I am pleased to announce that 85% of these shipments have been released. However, tests on the remaining 15% are still ongoing due to the presence of mixed rice,” revealed Musinguzi.
He assured that further testing would be conducted to make an informed decision on the remaining shipments.
Musinguzi cautioned traders against engaging in any form of corruption, emphasizing that such behavior only serves to impede trade and result in revenue losses.
He also urged officers to avoid unnecessarily prolonging the holding of containers without a valid reason or a documented explanation for doing so.
The Commissioner Customs Abel Kagumire informed traders that rice lacking the stamp from the Tanzania Bureau of Standards would be subject to the appropriate taxes.
Additionally, traders without licenses permitting them to export rice from Tanzania would also be held liable for the applicable taxes.
Donation for Author
Buy author a coffee