URA Secures Machine Test Rice

Net picture of rice on sale

Uganda Revenue Authority has secured a machine that will facilitate tests on imported rice to ascertain its country of origin.

Abel Kagumire, the Commissioner Customs says the machine has been provided by the National Agricultural Research Organization.

This acquisition comes at a time when trucks ferrying rice imports from Tanzania have been held at the Mutukula border over suspicion of importing mixed rice sourced from different countries.

According to the East African Community Common External Tariff (EAC-CET), importation of rice outside the E.A.C is subject to import duty at a rate of 75%, while rice sourced from within the EAC attracts 0% import duty.

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Importation of mixed rice amounts to a mis-declaration and could cause revenue loss. The acquisition of a testing machine means URA will be able to curb these leakages and clear genuine imports on time.

Speaking at an engagement with rice importers held at the URA headquarters in Nakawa on Friday, Kagumire told traders that rice that does not bear a stamp from the Tanzania Bureau of Standards would be subject to the necessary taxes.

He added that traders without licenses allowing them to export rice from Tanzania would also be liable to pay the taxes due.

John R. Musinguzi, noted that URA is aiming to level the field and ensure fair competition, hence the vigilance on rice that is from outside the East African community.

He added that 85% of the trucks that were held at Mutukula have been released following tests that were conducted by the Tax Investigations department of URA.

“We did thorough research to ascertain if the rice was from Tanzania, and I am glad to inform you that 85% of these have been released. Tests on the 15% have not been concluded because most of the rice has been mixed,” Musinguzi revealed.

He said further tests would be conducted to provide a better decision.

Musinguzi cautioned the traders to desist from all acts of corruption, saying these will only frustrate trade and cause revenue loss.

He further asked officers to avoid holding containers for too long without a classified reason or written statement for doing so.

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