Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has spoken out on the impounded container carrying health equipment that has since created public anger.
The container impounded a few days ago was imported by Aba Foundation and was said to be carrying medical equipment. It was deposited in a bonded warehouse pending clearance (the container is currently at Multiple ICD, a bonded warehouse in Kampala).
Ian Rumanyika, the Acting Assistant Commissioner Public & Corporate Affairs at URA says quoting the Customs Procedure Code (CPC) 472, the importer requested for an exemption for the items among them blankets, orthopedic medicines, bed sheets, wheel chairs, feeding tubes and bladder protection pads among others.
However, URA says on routine inspection, non-medical equipment, which are not tax exempt were found in the container. Among them were dolls, used shoes, clothes and tablets.
“Accordingly, the consignment was seized for the anomaly- mis-declaration and misuse of the CPC 472. But the importer refused to sign the seizure notice,” Rumanyika said, adding: “URA offered to release the exempt items and thereafter issue an assessment for other items. However, the importer insisted on having the entire container with all contents tax free.”
URA says following verification, the consignment (including taxes) was valued at Shs21.77m.
“URA condemns the manner and behavior of the tax payer-spreading malicious propaganda and falsehoods in the media against the institution and its staff instead of taking responsibility for the offense,” Rumanyika says.