The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has restricted the warehousing of imported rice and sugar, other than sugar for industrial use, with effect from 1 October 2020. Customs clearance of these items will be permitted upon payment of taxes at the first port of entry under the Single Customs Territory (SCT) arrangement.
This is a move to ensure that Ugandans are protected from the consumption of expired sugar and to protect local sugar manufacturers from unfair competition arising from dumping, diversion of sugar in transit and tax evasion.
This is in line with the Tax Appeals Tribunal's (TAT) decision in the case of R1 Distributors Limited and 11 other companies against the URA. The TAT ruled that the URA's public notice of 17 October 2019 listing products which should not be eligible for customs warehousing was lawful.
In the same light, the tribunal also ordered that items such as wines and spirits (except in duty free shops), building materials, motorcycle tyres and tubes, garments of all kind, footwear of all kinds, dentifrices, used motor vehicles of 14 years old from the date of manufacture which were not part of the dispute but were in the notice should not to be warehoused.
The communication was made through public notice published on 1 October 2020 on the URA's website.