URA issues new passenger guidelines to curb tax evasion

Business

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has issued tough passenger clearance guidelines at Entebbe airport aimed at cracking down on tax evasion and boosting revenue collections. 

The Uganda Revenue Authority manager in charge of Customs at Entebbe International Airport, Simon Esunget says the authority registered a Shs 4.5bn loss due to non-compliant passengers in the year 2021-2022.   

According to the new guidelines, every passenger that arrives at Entebbe Airport will either be cleared through the green channel where one has nothing to declare to customs, or the red, for those with dutiable or restricted goods.

Esunget says the new guidelines are aimed at deterring passengers dealing in trade from trying to evade paying taxes.

 "We found out that many people coming from abroad had made it a habit to evade taxes by pretending that they have nothing to declare to customs yet they do,” Esunget says.

According to Esunget, passengers with restricted goods are expected to go through the red channel to declare their goods and pay customs to the authority with goods not exceeding USD 2000. Those with personal and non-dutiable goods go through the green channel with goods not exceeding USD 500.

 "There are goods that are prohibited and restricted, such as used computers, cocaine and other drugs,” Esunget said, “while restricted goods include drone cameras and and medicaments that need clearance and are taxed."

Officials say that some travellers are ignorant of basic customs protocols, including carrying cash in excess of USD 10,000 that must be declared at customs on arrival.

 The Spokesperson of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, Luggya Vianney, urged passengers to adhere to airport guidelines.

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