Relief as URA relax rules on old vehicles

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Mr.Rujoki the URA Commissioner General FILE/PHOTO

By Isa Kawoya

The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has cleared all vehicles which turned 15 years old and are still in bonds during the lockdown.

Before the lockdown was announced in March, the tax body had banned importation of vehicles manufactured 15 years ago or earlier. However, there are vehicles which were below 15 years but attained the prohibited age while still in transit or in car depots, following the lockdown which halted the motor vehicle registration process.

The URA assistant commissioner for field services, Mr Stephen Magera, yesterday said despite the government ban on importation of vehicles manufactured 15 years ago or earlier, they will clear all the vehicles which attained the condemned age because this is a small window and circumstances under which the vehicles attained the age are clear—lockdown.
“The law is clear. This is just a small window and we are saying the circumstances are understandable.

 If the car attained age 15 in April or May, we shall clear them because this is just a small proportion,” Mr Magera said.

He said last week, URA started clearing vehicles stuck in Mombasa during the lockdown and both the importers and drivers have been issued with the standard operating procedures to follow.

Mr Magera said the drivers delivering the vehicles from Mombasa will be tested for Covid-19 and allowed to enter Uganda after the results are out.
“We agreed that all drivers must abide by the requirements. Only tested drivers with negative results of the tests are allowed or owners of the vehicles get drivers to pick up the units from Malaba, Busia or Mutukula,” he said.

Last week, URA issued guidelines to the associated motor dealers, saying all vehicles close to being 15 years or older be cleared out of the warehouse.

The tax body said the owners of vehicles, which clocked 15 years in warehouses during lockdown and those above, will be required to explain why they delayed to clear the vehicles in time. URA also suspended for six months auction of vehicles which overstay in car bonds.

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