The officials from URA and South Africa Revenue Service met recently to recognise each other’s Authorised Economic Operators. This move will enable AEOs from both countries to benefit from faster clearances and reduced supervision.
To this effect, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Monday in Pretoria to strengthen each other’s trade ties.
The URA Commissioner General John R. Musinguzi noted URA looks up to SARS for mutual benefits and cooperation in trade relations. The signing of the MOU is also expected allow AEOs export and import goods to and from both countries with ease.
The agreement will significantly facilitate continental and global trade. The reciprocal benefits of the MOU will also include; reduced document check rates, relatively low inspection rates for import consignments, prioritized customs clearance and direct communication between participants in case of matters arising during clearance.
Abel Kagumire, the URA Customs Commissioner explained that the agreement will further boost trade opportunities and contribute to the smooth flow of goods between both countries. It will also strengthen the end-to-end supply chain security for trade in goods by promoting multi-layered risk-management and providing facilitation benefits to accredited traders.
Rae Vivier, the Head Authorised Economic Operator, SARS signed the MOU amidst other SARS officials; Beyers Theron, the Director Customs Border Operations, Ports of Entry & Customs Compliance, Thabile Ntombela, the Head: International Cooperation, Mark van den Broek, Senior Specialist: International Customs, Customs & Excise Legislative Policy and I am Emelda Behr, Manager: Bilateral Cooperation.
Meanwhile, the AEO program is a regional trade facilitation programme recommended by the World Customs Organization(WCO) to ease trade and customs clearance for tax-compliant importers and exporters.
Currently, Uganda has118 AEOs who are responsible for more than 41% of the volumes of international trade operations. This means that over 41% of supply chain operations are handled by low-risk and reliable operators who benefit from managing themselves under the program.
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