URA to recover UGX 500 million from vehicles misusing duty free exemptions

Last week, URA’s team one commenced a two-week long joint operation with Uganda Traffic Police and the Military. The operation targeted foreign registered motor vehicles, those with red plates (tax exempted vehicles), duplicate number plates and forged ones.

Following intelligence reports, a number of check points were staged around the Kampala city suburbs. Each location was manned by 5 officers who ensured that the operations were carried out seamlessly.

During the operation, more than 750 vehicles were verified against their profiles in URA systems like E-TAX and relevant information recorded from the drivers.

According to John Olowo, one of the enforcement officers, a total of 125 motor vehicles were impounded, 78 of these were foreign registered while 47 had red number plates; implying that they were abusing duty-free exemptions.

“Most foreign registered motor vehicles are owned by Ugandans while others are owned by foreigners whose permanent residence is in Uganda especially South Sudanese,” Olowo explained.

 For now, the owners of the intercepted vehicles are willing to have their vehicles registered in Uganda, an idea URA is supporting.

In terms of penalties, so far, UGX 129,200,000 (USD. 34,000) has been collected and 13 vehicles have been forwarded to customs warehouse to pay taxes and register. Out of the whole exercise, the process is projected to generate more than UGX 500,000,000.

Ibrahim Bbossa, the URA Spokesperson noted that URA is expected to collect more revenue this financial year so continuous driving of non-authorized vehicles on the road affects the taxes URA collects for improved service delivery.

He also added that the authority is committed to cracking the vice to ensure that every Ugandan pays their fair share of revenue.

“I urge persons with foreign registered number plates to adhere to the EAC customs processes and legislation for importation of foreign registered vehicles or follow the registration process and acquire the Ugandan number plates,” Bbossa emphasized.

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