Kampala, January 13th 2017  

Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the URA Head Office in Nakawa, Kampala.

The Executive Director of UFZA, Richard Jabo and Commissioner General of URA, Doris Akol acknowledged that the two Authorities shall play a complementary role in improving the Business environment for investors wishing to invest in Free Zones in Uganda.

UFZA is mandated to develop, manage, market, maintain, supervise and control Free Zones in Uganda.  Free Zones are designated areas where goods introduced and produced are generally regarded as being outside the Customs territory, in so far as import and export duties are concerned. In essence, they are customs-controlled areas.

URA is responsible for supervising and controlling Customs-related activities within Free Zones in Uganda and issuing Certificates for Customs Supervision in the Zones as stipulated under the Free Zones Act, 2014.

Akol said, “URA will facilitate fast tracking of Customs clearance of raw materials and other imported inputs destined for Free Zones at Border posts and other Customs clearance points.”

The MoU stipulates that URA shall provide the following services to its intended Stakeholders:

  1. Fast-track Customs clearance of raw materials and other imported inputs destined for Free Zones at Border posts;
  2. Issue Tax Clearance Certificates and Certificates of Compliance in fulfillment of the conditions for performing Customs supervision in a Free Zone;
  3. Avail Customs Officers to supervise and control all access, entry and exit points in any part of a Free Zone;
  4. Integrate and link UFZA on to the existing Cargo Tracking Systems; and
  5. Offer technical assistance to UFZA in the development of cargo and warehouse management systems.

On the other hand, UFZA shall:

  1. Keep URA informed about all activities related to the development of Free Zones that may be necessary for the fulfillment of the Obligations of the Parties;
  2. Notify the Commissioner General in advance, of any industrial, commercial or service activity authorized by the Developer or Operator of a Free Zone; among others.
  3. Ensure that the Developers of the respective Free Zones avail office accommodation, scales, measures and other facilities for examining and taking account of goods;
  4. Keep an accurate record of all plant, machinery, equipment, raw materials and goods manufactured in a Free Zone; and
  5. Ensure that no retail trade shall be carried out in a Free Zone without the permission of the Commissioner General.