The Uganda Revenue Authority has reportedly suspended clearing agents' operations at the Malaba border over their failure to renew their annual licenses.
Reports say the suspension has led to build-up of trucks, with fears that the traffic jam could extend several miles into Kenya. The move is hurting transporters and importers because their goods cannot be cleared. This has caused a delay in delivering goods to their intended destinations.
It is also said that clearing agents in Uganda cannot lodge any documents into the URA system until they comply with the mandatory requirement. It is reported that over 80% of clearing firms have not complied with the requirement, thus paralysing business operations.
Clearing agents' mandate
According to the URA clearing agents are mandated to obtain import/export documents (e.g. original import documents - bill of lading, invoice or parking list or any other documents that relate to the importation or exportation of goods), go to the bonded warehouse or the border stations where the goods are and process transit or import documents for final clearance, provide, whenever required by customs administration, an authorization form from the firms or persons by whom he is employed to act as their customs agent, represent a client in any matter related to customs, advise a client against non-compliance to customs laws, exercise due diligence to ascertain the correctness of any information which he imparts to a client with reference to any customs operations among others.