BY SAMUEL NABWIISO
KAMPALA, Uganda- Uganda will after September this year stop the importation of used vehicles that are older than 15 years from their manufacturing date.
Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner for Customs, Dicksons Kateshumbwa said for environmental reasons, importation of vehicles above 15 years will be stopped.
“If you are planning to import used cars that are 15 years and above, you have up to September, after which you will not be able. This is aimed at protecting the environment,” said Kateshumbwa.
He said after September, URA will commence on the implementation of the new proposed Tax measures for Non Tax Revenue for the Financial year 2018/2019.
Under the proposed measures, government intends to ban imports of vehicles 15 years and above from the year of manufacture on justification that it is aimed at protecting the environment from being polluted by the heavy pollutants produced by such cars.
Kateshumbwa said URA is committed to ensuring that the country’s environment is free from any kind of pollution especially that emanating from second hand vehicles.
Among other proposed tax measure for Non Tax Revenue for the financial year 2018/2019 that the tax agency will be implementing include the increase on motor vehicles first registration fees which has been pushed from UGX1.Million to UGX1.3 Million shillings.
In the financial year 2018/2019, government is looking at mobilizing about Shs 16,358.8 Billion from Domestic Revenue Mobilization of which Shs 15,938.8 Billion will be collected by URA as tax revenue and Shs 420 Billion as Non Tax Revenue.
It is however feared that the ban will lead to loss of jobs since the industry has been employing many Ugandans especially the youth who are the majority second hand car dealers.
Marvin Ayebale, the Secretary General of Association of Motor Dealers in Uganda said any proposal to this effect should be done in phases so as to allow Ugandans to adjust accordingly. He added that at the moment many Ugandans cannot afford new cars.
“We are not against the government’s proposal of banning the importation of second-hand cars but more time should be given to the dealers since some have made orders for the vehicles from Japan and other countries. If the government implements the proposal, car dealers will be affected,” he explained.
Government under the new Traffic and Road Safety Act 1998 (Amendment) Bill, 2018 tabled before parliament, proposes that a person who imports a motor vehicle which is five years old or more from the date of manufacture shall pay an environmental levy on that vehicle.
The environmental levy shall be collected by the Uganda Revenue Authority before clearance of the vehicle.