KAMPALA — Uganda Revenue Authority URA) says the patrol donated to them by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will boost cross border trade and improve surveillance on water bodies.
The items received Wednesday include a two engine Yamaha Speed Boat, two double cabin motor vehicles and an x-ray baggage scanner that will enhance implementation of the Project for Enhancing Trade Facilitation & Border Control Capacity in East Africa.
An x-ray baggage scanner has been installed at Elegu One Stop Border Post – OSBP.
URA officials said the donations are part of the support JICA towards delivering Regional Economic Development through trade facilitation enhancement in East Africa.
“These patrol items received today, especially the speed boat, two double cabin motor vehicles and their accessories, night vision, and search lights are great assets that will facilitate regular joint border/water surveillance activities at our borders for example; Malaba (Kenya/Uganda), Busia (Kenya/Uganda), Lake Victoria, Mutukula (Tanzania/Uganda), and Katuna/Gatuna (Uganda/Rwanda)”, noted Abel Kagumire – the URA Commissioner Customs.
The Yamaha Speed Boat is designed with heavy duty steel and it is capable of operating in tropical conditions and extreme weather.
An increase in surveillance and patrols on or around lake/land borders for trade will contribute significantly towards the reduction of smuggling as more importers will be expected to use customs gazetted routes other than the ungazetted routes on lakes.
On the other hand, the X-ray Baggage scanner will detect contrabands conveyed by travellers through customs; strengthen customs function of protection of society from harmful and prohibited goods such as weapons which may not ordinarily be declared to customs; while limiting physical checks which improves doing business in a safe environment in the era of COVID-19.
“The technical support from JICA is timely because it comes in at a time when the East African Customs Administrations have agreed to improve the efficiency of border procedures and enhance border control.”, added Abel Kagumire.