November 18, 2017

Trade ministry moves to speed up online clearances

April 28—Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has been working together with the  National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) to speed up online processing of e-documents following complaints by logistics companies. They say customs clearances are taking far too long.

Trade and industry minister, Amelia Kyambadde said, “URA has undertaken the following immediate and short term actions to address delays; upgraded our servers for Asycuda a week ago and this has increased the speed of processing declaration and increased the number of users under the Asycuda license from 1000 to 2000 users.

“The URA with the support of NITA-U has been granted a dedicated internet line by the Uganda Internet Exchange. This will ensure uninterrupted internet services. In the long term, URA is working with NITA-U to increase the bandwidth,” she said in statement.

Kyambadde said implementation of the E-Portal, which allows for inspection application on-line, has been progressing steadily. “This portal is linked to Asycuda World and has helped in faster clearance of goods.
The procedure for Release-Under-Seal (RUS) to importers’ own storage space outside the customs area is being implemented. It is available only after paying the penalty (in the absence of a valid Certificate of Conformity). The storage space is sealed until the inspection procedure is completed. With this procedure, the traders are able to avoid demurrage charges at customs,” she said.

She said when the Ministry’s budget allocations for financial year 2017/18 are released, it is planned that UNBS will recruit more personnel, primarily for the Malaba and Busia border posts. This will then allow for inspections to be carried out on a 24-hour basis.

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