Tax body, Uganda Revenue Authority, has launched the Global Travel Assessment System that will enable them to capture data and monitor persons coming to Uganda before they arrive.
The function to launch the system was done at the tax body headquarters in Nakawa, Kampala on Monday afternoon.
The system will see URA work with all airlines coming into the country to provide passport details of all their passengers in 15 minutes into their journey and the same will be relayed to the tax body system for easy monitoring.
“We have been managing the risk when it arrives at the airport that when one arrives is when the tax body looks at what you are carrying to find out if to tax you. Many people have been coming in through the airport and come with goods, get checked in and carry the luggage without paying taxes,” said the URA Commissioner for Customs, Dicksons Kateshumbwa
“This system will enable us to manage information in advance of everyone coming into the country.”
Kateshumbwa said the modern way of doing things is to receive data in advance and study it and by the time passengers arrive, the information is with authorities, adding that the new system will enable this happen.
“We will work with airlines to get pre-arrival passenger manifests which detail who is coming, the type of cargo they are carrying, the weight and movements so that we analyse the data in time. When you arrive it will be able to know what you have and determine the appropriate tax or if you have no taxable goods.”
He said that this is part of their initiatives to ensure they meet the revenue targets for the tax body.
In the modern era of terrorism, the new system will be greatly used by security to help monitor whoever is coming into the country.
According to Kateshumbwa, the security will be allowed access to the system so that in case of any suspected terrorist or drug trafficker, they can be monitored even before landing at the airport and action can be taken against them.
He said that they are working with the Kenya Revenue Authority to put in place another system for buses and other vehicles coming into Uganda on land.
Kateshumbwa said the system, which is the first of its kind was put in place with help from the World Customs Organisation.