Uganda: Ura to Impound Vehicles With Foreign Number Plates

Kampala — Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is to impound foreign registered vehicles without temporary importation licence in addition of charging them a 20 per cent fine of the value of each car.

According to the notice issued today (see page 33) by Mr Dicksons Kateshumbwa, the URA commissioner for customs, the motorists have until June 30 to re-export the vehicles or face fines.

"All owners of foreign registered vehicles which do not meet the above requirements must re-export their vehicles with immediate effect and any contraventions will lead to the impounding of the said vehicles," Mr Kateshumbwa said in a notice.

Foreign registered vehicles are allowed to operate in the country after they have obtained a three-month temporary importation form at $20 (Shs74,000), whose period cannot extended.

But most foreign registered vehicles continue to operate on Uganda roads even after the expiry of the licences.

Mr Kateshumbwa said by July 1, owners of foreign private motor vehicles must have valid temporary importation of vehicle's form.

For a Ugandan owning a foreign registered vehicle, Mr Kateshumbwa said, he or she must have a valid work permit or proof of residence in a partner state.

Many Ugandans returning for holidays from countries such as South Sudan, South Africa, Rwanda and Kenya, bring in vehicles with foreign number plates and leave them here without paying importation taxes.

Some owners of foreign registered vehicle sell them to Uganda or fix local number plates.

Mr Kateshumbwa said: "Any person intending to sell, alter or replace such a foreign registered vehicle must first seek permission from the Commissioner".

The law

According to Customs Law, if a vehicle is impounded for flouting the regulation, the owner pays a fine, which is 20 per cent of the value of that vehicle, and thereafter ordered to take the car back to the country of origin.

Last year, more than 100 motor vehicles with foreign number plates were impounded by URA for contravening Section 117 of the East African Customs Community Management Act of 2004.

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