URA officials launching the Bonded Warehouse Information System (BWIMS).
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has launched a new system that will monitor all operations of bonded warehouses online.
The bonded warehouse information management systems (BWIMS) is aimed at reducing on the tax leakages.
Under this new system, imported cargo particulars including attached importer, category, date and point of entry, expected date of exist, type, and volume among other things will be verified and posted onto the system.
The system comes at a time when up to 2.1 trillion shillings is trapped in ware housing system, and according to URA the BWIMS will help streamline this because the authority will have access to all cargo information unlike before.
John Musinguzi, the URA commissioner general says that this new system will improve efficiency, transparency and standards to help improve trade and economic development in the country.
According to Musinguzi, this will not only help the authority, but also the importers because it will speed up cargo processing.
Musinguzi says the authority has been dealing with a very challenging situation where cargo gets lost in the bonds and ends up not being accounted for. “We hope BWIMS will improve all these challenges to make reconciliation and information sharing easy, and finally cover revenue leakages that have been experienced in the past,” added Musinguzi.
Abel Kagumire, the URA commissioner for customs says that this system is in line with the country’s domestic revenue mobilization strategy which runs up to 2024.
According to Kagumire, by the introduction of the BWIMS, licensing for the different categories of bonded warehouses is going to be changed to ensure effectiveness. He adds that the authority is also considering other changes for more effectiveness.
Kagumire says that the licensing regime for the bonded ware houses in 2023 will be dependent on the adaptability of the BWIMS. He said when setting the conditions for 2023, URA will visit the warehouses to establish if the owners have put in place barriers, weighing bridge, modern office, an accounting system and CCTV system that can be monitored from URA in Nakawa among some of the requirements.
He made it clear that they have been piloting the new system in 6 bonded ware houses for the last one month.
Herbert Mwebembezi, the country manager for the Speedag Enterprises says although their company has a similar system, the BWIMS is different because it quickly keeps bond owner updated on the movements of the cargo.
Joseph Mukasa Gonzaga from General Machinery Limited says they are happy that this system will come in place since they had lost a lot of money trying to develop an online ware housing system.
Josephine Namugala, from Cosmos Motors also welcomed the new system that she says will solve several challenges.