In photo “URA Board member Theodora T. Mondo presents an Authorised Economic Operator AEO Certificate to Ms. Sarah Mulwana Executive director of Nice House of Plastics. Looking on First Left is Allen Asiimwe the Country Director TradeMark East Africathe project funders and Allen Kagina the commissioner General Uganda Revenue Authority. AEO certified companies are permitted to self-manage key customs processes internally. Ten companies were given the certification.”
Uganda revenue Authority (URA) have signed MOU’s and awarded certificates of recognition to ten companies in Uganda who have been given special customs status as Authorized Economic Operators AEO.
Speaking at the recognition ceremony, Commissioner General of the URA, Allen Kagina commended the companies that had attained the special status. ‘’They have consistently demonstrated a very high commitment to comply with customs regulations and security procedures’’. She said. “An AEO certified company for example is not subject to physical inspections, queuing or immediate audits”.
The 10 companies that have achieved this status were chosen from a list of 41 companies that had initially expressed interest. These are Spedag Interfreight, DHL, Nice House of Plastics, Unifreight Cargo Ltd and, BAT Uganda Limited. Others are Roofings (U) Limited, Ballore Logistics, Steel and Tube Industries Ltd, Jesa Farm Diary, Uganda Batteries Ltd and Toyota Uganda. An AEO in Uganda is an individual, a business entity or government department that is involved in international trade and is duly authorized by the Commissioner of Customs of the Uganda Revenue Authority to self-manage key aspects of its customs processes previously handled by URA. The objectives being to enhance trade facilitation, promote customs to business partnership, ensure security for the international trade supply chain, encourage voluntary compliance to customs laws and procedures.
The AEO project is an initiative of the URA supported by TradeMark East Africa that seeks to enhance trade by reducing the cost of doing business through simplifying customs procedures and reducing clearance time. ‘’This recognition will also enhance the image and trust of the businesses that have it, as it provides for mutual recognition with the other revenue authorities in the region. We will know we have achieved our objective when the savings businesses are enjoying, trickle down to a reduction in prices of goods for the common Mwananchi” Kagina concluded.
Narrating their experiences about using the new system for their clients, Spedag Interfreight one of the companies who participated in the pilot project reported that they were able to register significant improvements in efficiencies which resulted in monetary savings for their clients and Increased truck turnaround from 2.5 trips per month to 5 trips a month resulting in better evacuation of containers and better revenue earnings. “The AEO programme is a fantastic initiative which is improving our business tremendously. Mr. Bharat, Managing Director Spedag said. “We commend URA and its partner in this initiative , Trademark East Africa for introducing it here in Uganda and we look forward to additional benefits it will provide us in the region as companies that receive AEO certification in Uganda will enjoy the same recognition and benefits seamlessly in the other East African countries’’. He added.
Speaking after the ceremony, Allen Asiimwe, TradeMark EA Country director thanked all the companies for taking part in the project’. ‘’This is an important first step towards full implementation of the AEO programme in Uganda a development which we are sure will have very positive knock on effects on the companies involved and the Ugandan and regional economy” She said.
The Commissioner General thanked TradeMark EA for its support. “This is the latest in a series of initiatives we have successfully rolled out supported by TMEA others include ASYCUDA World which we launched at the beginning of the week. She said.
URA plans to bring another 10 companies onto the AEO programme in the next phase of the project.
Representatives from companies with Authorised Economic Operator status (AEO) pose with certificates of recognition awarded to them at the AEO MOU handover breakfast organized by the URA and the projects funders Trade Mark East Africaon the 5th Sep 2013. AEO certified companies are permitted to self-manage key customs processes internally. Standing, (front left) Mr. Henry Saka the Commissioner for Domestic Taxes URA, (2nd Left), Allen Asiimwe TradeMark Uganda Country Director; (4th Left) Theodora T. Mondo Board member URA and the Commissioner General URA Allen Kagina 3rd Front right.