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URA to Recover UGX 500M From Illegally Driven Vehicles :: Uganda Radionetwork

URA to Recover UGX 500M From Illegally Driven Vehicles

The agency says at least 500 million shillings in taxes and penalties will be recovered from these vehicles.
22 May 2024 11:19
URA Photo. Most of the impounded are high-end vehicles, with the majority nearing South Sudan registration numbers
125 vehicles are being held by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) in the latest operation targeting the illegal use of foreign registration numbers as well as the red and white plates. 

The agency says at least 500 million shillings in taxes and penalties will be recovered from these vehicles.

The two-long exercise featuring the army and traffic police personnel had, by Monday, seen a total of 750 vehicles verified, and those that complied with the laws were released.

The operation targeted foreign registered motor vehicles, those with red plates (which are given to tax-exempt vehicles), duplicate number plates, and forged ones.

The red and white numbers are usually given to vehicles acquired mainly by not-for-profit organizations, individuals doing charitable work, or companies conducting contracts for the government, like road construction,  among others.

However, some have been transferred to private persons without the due transfer process, leading to revenue losses.

The offenses on the foreign registered numbers include being on the road beyond the period allowed when the vehicle crosses into the country.

The more than 750 vehicles were verified against their profiles in URA systems like E-TAX and relevant information was recorded from the drivers.

According to John Olowo, one of the enforcement officers, a total of 125 motor vehicles were impounded, 78 of these were foreign registered while 47 had red number plates; implying that they were abusing duty-free exemptions.

“Most foreign registered motor vehicles are owned by Ugandans while others are owned by foreigners whose permanent residence is in Uganda, especially South Sudanese,” Olowo explained.

Most of the owners of the intercepted vehicles told the URA officials that they were willing to have their vehicles registered in Uganda, an idea URA offered to support.

So far, 129.2 million shillings (34,000 dollars) have been collected and 13 vehicles forwarded to the customs warehouse to pay taxes and register. 

"Out of the whole exercise, the process is projected to generate more than 500 million".

Ibrahim Bbossa, the URA Spokesperson said continuous driving of non-authorized vehicles on the road affects the taxes URA collects for improved service delivery, yet it was expected to collect more revenue this financial year.

He added that the duty of the authority was to ensure that everyone pays their fair share of the national revenues and that the operations would continue.

“I urge persons with foreign registered number plates to adhere to the EAC customs processes and legislation for importation of foreign registered vehicles or follow the registration process and acquire the Ugandan number plates,”  he said.

East Africans are allowed to drive private cars across borders to any partner states of the EAC free of charge, for visits no longer than seven days, after filling out a form at the entry point.

For foreign registered private use vehicles, they have to obtain a three-month temporary importation form, which costs about 75,000 shillings, and cannot be extended.

This also allowed the vehicle only for private use and not to be sold unless the Commissioner General grants permission or the vehicle is first registered in Uganda.

Also, the foreign registered vehicle must have a valid work permit or proof of residence in the country as well as a valid temporary Importation of Vehicle Form.

The EAC Customs Act provides for a fine of 20 percent of the value of the vehicle in case the regulations are violated..

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