KAMPALA – Uganda Revenue Authority – URA held a meeting with the key leaders in the clearing and forwarding sector, the business leaders with different trading groups, and the consolidators to forge a way of erasing fraudulent people who normally cause losses to the importers by either not declaring or under-declaring which leads to confiscation of their goods.
Speaking to the press, Mr. John Rujoki – URA Commissioner General said that the meeting follows the gap that they just identified where there are people who have been importing goods under their names and under their teams when actually they are not the actual owners of those goods.
“And that group of fraudulent people has been the same people that are so daring, who either tried to under-declare or miss declare the imported goods and when they are caught, because there are no stakeholders, the goods don’t belong to them, they abandon the goods and they let the importers be on their own.”
He noted that they resort to confusing their clients, “URA held your goods, the system is not on, and so on and so forth. When they run out of excuses, then they start switching off their lines and changing.”
Rujoki noted that they found out that there is a practice that has been happening where people masquerade as consolidators, import goods that belong to other importers which they don’t declare as goods that have been consolidated on behalf of other importers thus abandoning the goods upon being caught trying to beat the system.
“So we called this meeting to agree that we are going to work together with these private sector leaders, put our heads together and agreed on a strategy of isolating those brokers who are not clearing agents who are not proper consolidators but who lure people into bringing their goods and at the same time, try to lure our officers and compromise our processes to pay less taxes.”
He appealed to any importer who may have imported goods and have not been cleared and given to them, for the last one or two months ago to report to URA offices and be helped.
“The person who brought those goods and declared them on your behalf in our system has been the problem. So for your cargo to be with us for 100 days, definitely that is a clear case of fraud, someone was caught trying to cheat stocks, and he abandoned those goods in the bonded warehouse where they are. Because your numbers were never registered with us when he was declaring these goods in our system on your behalf, we don’t know where to track you. So I encourage you to come to our offices and redeem your goods.”
Rujoki also asked companies that have been importing goods that don’t belong to them but not declaring the true owners to come and cooperate with URA so that they can clear goods and give them to the true owners.
“If that does not happen, then the law will take its course,” he warned.