Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has announced that since the launch of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program in 2013, more than 129 businesses have adopted it, leading to increased tax revenue.
The AEO program, a trade facilitation initiative, offers benefits and privileges to international trade businesses. Companies earn AEO status by meeting specific criteria related to customs compliance, financial stability, and security standards. Participating in the program streamlines customs procedures, reduces clearance times, and fosters better trade relationships.
Sarah Chelangat, the Commissioner of Domestic Tax, emphasized the crucial role AEOs play, contributing over 40% of customs tax revenue. These businesses are highly compliant and transparent, voluntarily declaring their operations without URA verification and inspection.
Chelangat expressed URA’s commitment to enhancing the AEO program’s attractiveness and encouraged more traders to participate. She also noted mutual recognition agreements with China and South Africa, offering Ugandan traders preferential treatment in those markets, and the improved benefits for AEOs through digitalization and automation.
Anna Nambooze from Trade Mark Africa, one of the program’s founding members, praised AEO for expediting the import and export processes for compliant businesses. She mentioned the potential for digital risk management to further streamline operations.
Annet Mutaawe Ssemuwemba, East African Community Deputy Secretary General overseeing Customs, Trade, and Monetary Affairs, acknowledged URA’s efforts to increase AEO program adoption and urged its expansion to include larger businesses, SMEs, and women entrepreneurs to ensure inclusivity.
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