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Home > News > URA’s Customs Department Hits Ground Running In Shs 9.7 Trillion Target, Recovers Shs 2.8 Billion In Smuggled Goods

URA’s Customs Department Hits Ground Running In Shs 9.7 Trillion Target, Recovers Shs 2.8 Billion In Smuggled Goods

URA’s Head of Enforcement, Assistant Commissioner Julius Nkwasire, parades before the media an impounded truck and the smuggled goods.

Uganda Revenue Authority’s Customs Department has hit the ground running in a bid to achieve Shs 9.7 Trillion 2022/2023 Financial Year target.

In this FY, URA is expected to collect Shs 25.5 Trillion. Of these, Customs is expected to collect Shs 9.7 trillion.

Uganda’s budget is Shs 48 trillion.

URA’s Head of Enforcement, Julius Nkwasire, says that for Uganda to fund its budget, “it needs Shs 48 trillion.”

“And of the Shs 48 trillion, URA should collect Shs 25.5 trillion and as customs, on that Shs 25.5 trillion, we should collect Shs 9.7 trillion,” Nkwasire says.

“As Enforcement, we ensure that URA collects the rightful taxes. For the rightful taxes to be collected, we do enforcement operations so that those who are compliant are facilitated and protected and those who are not are apprehended,” Nkwasire explains.

In the last FY, Nkwasire revealed that Enforcement team recovered Shs 82 billion in non-declaration and improper declaration.

“The biggest offence that we are seeing now is people not declaring properly. Of the Shs 82 billion, 58% was people not declaring properly and there are cases like outright smuggling,” Nkwasire said.

He also revealed that the most smuggled items into Uganda currently are: garments, spare parts, textiles, shoes, hardware, electrical and electronics.

Since July, Nkwasire revealed that  Enforcement has recovered Shs 2.8 Billion in non-declaration, improper declaration and outright smuggling.

“We have started on a high note trying to ensure that the rightful taxes are recovered. So far, we have recovered Shs 2.8 Billion. These come from those products that we have listed,” Nkwasire revealed.

According to Nkwasire, URA’s strategies in curbing non-compliance are: use of intelligence networks, coordinating with other government agencies and stakeholders in information sharing, enhancing the technical capacity of staff “so that they can do their work.”

“Enforcement is there to ensure that we collect the right taxes,” Nkwasire said.

Smuggling truck impounded

Meanwhile, URA’s enforcement teams have impounded a truck designed to conceal and smuggle. The truck registration number UBA 174C was impounded with smuggled garments and rice. Addressing the media Wednesday, Nkwasire said that the truck was intercepted and escorted to URA headquarters in Nakawa, Kampala. By press time, the enforcement team was evaluating the worth of smuggled items.

Nkwasire also revealed that there have been interceptions in interstate buses. These were intercepted with cancer-causing cosmetics, spirits and beer among others.

He advised the public to be vigilant and share intelligence with the URA.

“If you have a truck, be sure of the driver you are recruiting. Guide him on what to do. Some drivers go behind the truck owner’s back. The truck owner is responsible. Be sure of the driver, guide him and check on the truck to ensure that there are no changes made because once we impound, at times we can go for forfeiture (taken over by government) of the truck. If you have carried goods, ensure that you off load them in a custom’s gazetted areas. Look for credible (URA-licensed) clearing agents. Request for customs documents. If there is any problem but you have documents, you did your part. But without documents and we find you with smuggled goods, we hold you accountable,” Nkwasire appealed to the public.

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