Uganda Free Zones Part­ners URA

East African Business Week - - EDITORIAL - BY SAMUEL NABWIISO

KAM­PALA— UGANDA-----The Uganda Free Zones Author­ity (UFZA) and Uganda Rev­enue Author­ity (URA) have signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing that aims at im­prov­ing the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment for in­vestors wish­ing to in­vest in Uganda’s Free Zones. “URA will fa­cil­i­tate the fast-track­ing of Cus­toms clear­ance of raw ma­te­ri­als and other im­ported in­puts des­tined for Free Zones at Bor­der posts and other Cus­toms clear­ance points,” Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of URA, Doris Akol said. The partnership Agree­ment was signed by the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of UFZA, Richard Jabo and Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of URA, Doris Akol. Un­der the MOU, URA will In­te­grate and link UFZA on to the ex­ist­ing Cargo Track­ing Sys­tems. It will also of­fer tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to UFZA in the de­vel­op­ment of cargo and ware­house man­age­ment sys­tems. Akol as­sured UFZA that they will sup­port them by eas­ing clear­ance of im­ported in­puts des­ig­nated to the Zones. She said they will fur­ther avail Cus­toms Of­fi­cers to su­per­vise and con­trol all ac­cess, en­try and exit points in any part of a Free Zone along­side Fast-track Cus­toms clear­ance of raw ma­te­ri­als and other im­ported in­puts des­tined for Free Zones at Bor­der posts. On the side of UFZA the Author­ity in the MOU will en­sure that en­sure that no re­tail trade shall be car­ried out in a Free Zone with­out the per­mis­sion of the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral URA. In ad­di­tion, the UFZA will keep on no­ti­fy­ing the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral in ad­vance, of any in­dus­trial, com­mer­cial or ser­vice ac­tiv­ity au­tho- rized by the de­vel­oper or op­er­a­tor of a Free Zone; among oth­ers. UFZA is a Gov­ern­ment of Uganda Agency man­dated to de­velop, man­age, mar­ket, main­tain, su­per­vise and con­trol Free Zones in Uganda. Free Zones are des­ig­nated ar­eas where goods in­tro­duced and pro­duced are gen­er­ally re­garded as be­ing out­side the Cus­toms ter­ri­tory, in so far as im­port and ex­port du­ties are con­cerned. In essence, they are cus­toms-con­trolled ar­eas. UFZA Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Richard Jabo said they want to bring on board all Gov­ern­ment Agen­cies that reg­u­late busi­ness es­tab­lish­ments in the coun­try. “We have been sign­ing MOUS with var­i­ous Gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions such as Uganda Reg­is­tra­tion Ser­vices Bureau (URSB) for Busi­ness Reg­is­tra­tion, Eco­nomic Pol­icy Re­search Cen­tre (EPRC) and Uganda Na­tional Bureau of Stan­dards (UNBS). It will reg­u­late stan­dard for the goods man­u­fac­tured in the free zones but we had to bring on board other agen­cies such as URA re­spon­si­ble for cus­toms,” Jabo said. The MOU be­tween URA and UFZA comes af­ter UFZA had just Launched the five strate­gic plan which are es­ti­mated to cost the agency about Ush 360 Bil­lion. The ob­jec­tive of the plan is to foster In­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, ex­port ori­ented in­vest­ment and cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for the many job­less Uganda.

URA will fa­cil­i­tate fast track­ing of Cus­toms clear­ance of raw ma­te­ri­als and other im­ported in­puts des­tined for Free Zones at bor­der posts and other clearence points

BET­TER IN­VEST­MENT CLI­MATE: URA’S Doris Akol (C) and Free Zone’s Richard Jabo (L) sign the MOU.

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