At least 14 companies have been accredited as Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) at regional and national level respectively by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
Companies that were accredited include: Comfoam Ltd, Jaffer Freight Ltd, Blow Plastics (U) Ltd, Unistrong Investments Ltd, Tian Tang Group Ltd, Uganda Tobacco Services Ltd and Nile Roofings Ltd,Hong Hai Wood (U) Ltd.
Others are; Luuka Plastics Ltd, Ada’s Enterprises, Mandela Millers Ltd, Flit Links International Ltd, Chickways (U) Ltd and Geroma.
The AEO is a trade facilitation programme which customs department in URA is under taking to facilitate trade and promote security of international trade.
Under this arrangement business which comply with custom laws and regulations benefit from customs preferential treatments such as fast clearances of their goods through simplified procedures and reduced inspection.
Speaking at the function held at Skyz Hotel Naguru in Kampala, URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi said taxpayers who have been enrolled into AEOs are those who have been complaint and exhibited resilience of continuing doing the right thing of contributing their fair share of taxes in spite of the Covid-19 situation in the country.
“These are people who on their own declare their taxes and pay them without any enforcement action. We want to appreciate and congratulate the members who have been enrolled today and we want to encourage them to continue leading by example,” he said.
He explained that this reduces the cost of doing business through eliminating delays and enables companies to offer better services due to the simplified clearance processes.
The Commissioner Customs, Abel Kagumire noted that these companies that were accredited have supported URA in making sure that they spread the message of compliance in addition to supporting the national agenda of development.
“Our enforcement activities are now geared towards noncompliance. If we can get more companies on board, we will have about 17,000 registered taxpayers. If we can get beyond 100,000 and we grow them then it means we will spend less in fighting noncompliance,” he said.
AEO is being implemented by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), an international umbrella body to which Uganda is a member.
Under the system, an individual, business entity or government institution involved in legal international trade are authorised by the Commissioner Customs and given an AEO status.The AEO national status allows the authorised company/individual to enjoy all benefits prescribed by the URA Customs.