Since Tuesday, over 100 trucks loaded with Rice have been stuck at Uganda’s Boarder with Tanzania Mutukula.
URA says all rice traders should acquire import permits and also have the rice checked by Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS). One of the Traders said that URA claims that the said rice is from Pakistan yet it was bought from Tanzania. He added URA import tax levied on the rice doubles the original price and this is making the rice business quite hard. Another trader said that URA wants her to pay shs 86 million for 36 tones of rice which is insane for a government that wishes its people to develop. Traders say that most of them are operating on loans and they are now anticipating overwhelming losses should government fail to intervene.
URA spokesperson Ibrahim Bbosa said that they are working around the clock to have the impasse resolved.
It should be remembered that goods outside the East African Community attracts an import duty of 75 percent and goods imported within the EAC member attracts 0% import duty tax.
It is said that traders under declare their goods in order to evade the import duty tax so as to maximize profits.
URA recently cautioned rice traders against under declaring their goods at the boarder points with some people importing rice from Pakistan and declare that it’s from Tanzania in the name of making profits. It should be remembered that most people especially in the urban centres feed on rice and it is anticipated that rice prices might spike to shs 10,000 in the coming days should URA fail to revise the tax.
URA is examining rice samples in order to find out the origin in order to decide accordingly.