Uganda Free Zones Partners URA
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.