URA to recover Sh500 million worth of confiscated fancy trips

Last week, URA Team One began a two-week joint operation with the Uganda Traffic Police and Army. The operation focused on motor vehicles with foreign registration plates, with red registration plates (tax-exempt vehicles), with duplicate registration plates and falsified ones.

Following intelligence reports, several checkpoints were established in the suburbs of Kampala city. Each location was manned by 5 officers who ensured operations were carried out smoothly.

During the operation, more than 750 vehicles were verified with their profiles in URA systems such as E-TAX and relevant information of the drivers was recorded.

According to John Olowo, one of the law enforcement officers, a total of 125 motor vehicles were confiscated, 78 of them with foreign registration plates and 47 with red registration plates; implying that they were abusing the tariff exemptions.

“The majority of motor vehicles registered abroad 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 register their vehicles in Uganda, an idea that URA supports.

In terms of sanctions, so far UGX 129,200,000 (USD. 34,000) have been collected and 13 vehicles have been sent to the customs warehouse for payment of taxes and registration. For the entire financial year, the process is expected to generate more than UGX 500,000,000.

URA Spokesperson Ibrahim Bbossa said URA is expected to collect more revenue this financial year, so the continued driving of unauthorized vehicles on the road affects the taxes it collects to improve service delivery.

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

“I urge people with foreign registration plates to comply with customs processes and EAC legislation for the importation of vehicles with foreign registration or follow the registration process and acquire Ugandan registration plates,” Bbossa stressed.