Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has welcomed the Uganda car port opened at Mombasa port last week - saying it would improve the flow of trade at the port.
The Container Freight station in Makupa Causeway, Mombasa was developed by Uganda Property Holdings Ltd (UPHL). It can hold about 3,000 cars. According to Sarah Banage, URA's assistant commissioner for Public and Corporate Affairs Management, Ugandan car importers will now enjoy better terms than the ones imposed by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
"This is home business," Banage told The Observer, "and business terms will be better. Car importers will have a bond where to keep their cars safely for extended days in case they haven't cleared [with the authorities]."
Once fully operational, the facility is expected to decongest car ports in Mombasa and hasten the clearing and transportation of vehicles from Mombasa to Kampala and beyond.
"Some people's cars have been auctioned for overstaying at the port. This won't happen again," Banage said.
While opening the facility, President Museveni said line ministries in Uganda must ensure availability of a consolidated management system of cargo crossing to Uganda. He said with minimal delays, costs of doing business, including transit costs, would be minimised.
Late last year, importers of used cars got stranded at Mombasa when the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) demanded that they pay cash bonds or bank guarantees for the vehicles above 2,000cc before getting to their final destination.
URA says the new car port will help solve such misunderstandings.