The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has obtained a machine that will aid in cracking down on mixed rice imports and determining the origin of imported rice.
The machine which was donated by the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), will assist URA in verifying the country of origin for imported rice.
Abel Kagumire, the Commissioner of Customs, revealed that the acquisition was prompted by the detention of vehicles carrying rice imports from Tanzania at the Mutukula border. These vehicles were suspected of transporting mixed rice from non-East African Community (EAC) countries.
Kagumire explained that based on the East African Community Common External Tariff (EAC-CET), the importation of rice from outside the EAC incurs a 75% import duty, while rice sourced from within the EAC is exempt from import duty. The under-declaration of mixed rice imports can result in revenue losses, and acquiring the testing machine will enable URA to address these discrepancies promptly and process legitimate imports efficiently.
John R. Musinguzi, the Commissioner General of URA, emphasized the organization’s commitment to ensuring fair competition and leveling the playing field. This diligence is the reason behind their focus on rice imported from outside the East African community.
By acquiring this machine, URA aims to strengthen its monitoring efforts and safeguard the interests of local rice producers. The machine will play a crucial role in identifying mixed rice imports, aiding in revenue collection, and fostering fair trade practices within the region.