URA cracks down on duty-free abuse and recovers 500 million UGX

KAMPALA, UGANDA – The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has launched a joint operation with the Uganda Traffic Police and the Army to crack down on vehicles misusing tax-free exemptions.

The two-week operation, which began recently, has already yielded significant results: more than 129 million UGX in penalties have been collected and 13 vehicles have been sent to customs warehouses to pay taxes and register.

According to the URA Law Enforcement Officer, John Olowo, a total of 125 motor vehicles were seized, including 78 vehicles with foreign registration plates and 47 with red registration plates, indicating abuse of tax exemptions. Many of these vehicles are owned by Ugandans or foreigners residing in Uganda, particularly South Sudanese nationals.

URA spokesperson Ibrahim Bbossa highlighted the authority’s commitment to combat this vice, stating that the continuous driving of unauthorized vehicles on the road affects the taxes that the URA collects to improve service delivery.

Bbossa urged persons with foreign registration plates to adhere to customs processes and EAC legislation for the importation of vehicles with foreign registration plates or follow the registration process and purchase Ugandan registration plates.

The deal is expected to generate more than UGX 500 million in revenue for URA, a significant boost to the authority’s efforts to meet its revenue targets for the financial year.

By cracking down on the abuse of the tax-free sector, URA aims to ensure that every Ugandan pays their fair share of income, promoting better service delivery and economic growth.”