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URA holds a Bi-lateral Engagement with South Sudan’s NRA at Elegu OSBP

URA and South Sudan National Revenue Authority have agreed to strengthen stakeholder and trade relations between the two partner states. This was during a bilateral meeting between the two revenue authorities at Elegu OSBP yesterday.

Representing the URA CG, Abel Kagumire, the Commissioner Customs, shared URA’s 5-year corporate plan and revenue performance over the years and used the two state’s trade data to highlight the strong links and opportunities within solid trade partnerships that should be further harnessed for mutual benefit.

CCD was in the company of AC Trade – Dr Geoffrey Okaka, AC FS – Asadu Kisitu Kigozi, the Manager Northern Region – Kakaire Ivan and the Manager Customs Planning – Ojambo Steven Paul. The South Sudan NRA delegation was led by their CG – Dr Mogoya Patrick escorted by his Deputy CG – Brigadier Africano Mande Gedima, Commissioner Customs – Major General Akol Ayii and the Director General of SS Immigration – Lt General John Akot Maluth.  

Abel broke down the different revenue reforms that URA has implemented to resounding success. He also pointed out the different challenges that we continue to contend with namely round tripping, fuel dumping and foreign registered cars that overstay. To solve these challenges and to further improve trade relations for mutual benefit, a number of recommendations were agreed upon.

The two states will digitalize most of their processes at the border to achieve automation and linkage of systems. They will also have end to end reconciliations and full accountability done to curb round tripping of goods especially powdered milk and cigarettes.

South Sudanese officers are still physically collecting documents from the Uganda side of the border which could lead to breaches. To fully implement the OSBP concept, it was recommended that they adopt cashless transactions.

Formation of technical working groups was mooted as an avenue to improve staff capacity, enforcement operations and to boost trade.

An MOU governing information sharing of NII images, validation images with NRA was recommended for implementation.

Coordinated border management through joint border surveillance and joint border meetings came out as a strong remedy for illegal crossing points where people risk to cross to Uganda through illegal routes and the river.

Adoption of a coordinated compliance strategy and sensitization of the communities either side of the border was recommended to solve the problem of temporarily cleared motor vehicles with foreign plates that have overstay.

South Sudan was encouraged to join the East African Revenue Authorities Technical Committees.

Ultimately, it was agreed that the implementation action centers will be the Commissioner Generals until responsible teams are constituted.

The Commissioner General – NRA thanked his host for the warm welcome and hospitability extended to him and his delegation and committed to urgently implement key issues especially increasing NRA’s presence at certain border points.

The Ag Commissioner General – URA thanked his NRA counterparts for taking off time to attend the bilateral engagement, accepting to work with the traders and also allowing to ease trade especially the exports.

The two Commissioner Generals agreed to hold these bilateral engagements periodically. Mr. Mitsunori Numaguchi – the Chief Advisor JICA project for Capacity Development of South Sudan Customs Service contributed to the meeting periodically chipping in via Zoom.

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