By Ahmad Muto
With effect from July 1, motor vehicles that are 13 years old and above from their date of manufacture will no longer be cleared by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) under their warehouse regime.
“It is in accordance with regulation 64(k) of the East African Community Customs Management Regulations, 2010, and following consultation with motor vehicle importers and car bonded warehouse owners held on May 27, 2022,” the tax body stated in a notice recently.
Saeed Bilali Lali, who works with a car dealership in Kampala City’s Nakawa Division says this is going to bite both the importer and the buyer. He explains that unlike in the past when bonds imported very old vehicles, they now import newer models and so buyers have to pay more to be able to drive. A Toyota Mark X 2014 model he says forexample is now at sh65million. In the past motorists could get 2004 models at less than sh25million.
For car importers, he notes that they will now import few cars using the same amount that could get them a little more units in the past. “If I have like $20,000 today, I can import maybe eight Mark X of 2008 and 2009 model. But after July 1, I will be able to only import two cars using the same amount.” At this point he explains the price of vehicles have not increased, it is the models that become available that are newer.
Also, according to him, as car importers they engaged URA in regards to the year of manufacture policy but yielded no fruits. He reasons that as much as it is already a policy, it is a public secret that the majority of Ugandans cannot afford these cars.
“The notice shall apply to motor vehicles categorized under part (b) of the Fourth Schedule of the Traffic and Road Safety Act, 1998 (Amendment) Act 2018 (TRSA) in accordance with Section 14B TRSA. Consequently, motor vehicles that are nine (9) to twelve (12) years old shall be warehoused for a period not exceeding six (6) months in accordance with section 57 of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004 (as amended),” added the notice