The Uganda Revenue Authority has ushered in 24 new members to the Authorized Economic Operators (AEO).
AEO, according to URA is a strategic outlook to reward clients that have partnered with URA to secure the international trade supply chain through voluntary compliance.
Officiating at the ceremony at Speke Resort Hotel on Friday, URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi said that AEO strengthens collaboration between government agencies and the private sector to facilitate legitimate trade, which in turn boosts revenue.
“Considering the growing trade in contrast with the resources available to URA, the AEO program is one of the tools used to optimize resource utilization,” he said
“Overall, the program has significantly reduced clearance times and tremendously reduced the cost of doing business for both URA and our clients,” he said
“When we look at numbers, we have 118 AEOs who are responsible for more than 41% of the volumes of our international trade operations,” he said.
“Our dream is to have 80% of Customs taxes cleared by AEOs hence reducing the cost of our operations. Through the program, we aim to support our clients by making taxation and trade regulation engagements easier, more participatory, and more pleasant, with trust and transparency as the basis for our partnership,”
Some of the new members who were added on the program include among others; MTN Uganda Ltd, Bidco Uganda Ltd, Dembe Enterprise Ltd, Mania Speeding Ltd among others.
Speaking at the launch, Abel Kagumire the Commissioner Customs at URA said that this program aims at improving URA’s efficiency, effectiveness, and a reduction in the cost of doing business, which is the bottom line for businesses and URA.
“The cost reduction is expected to translate into more profitability and growth in trade and, eventually, more revenue contribution,” he said
“The AEO program as one of the interventions to enhance voluntary compliance through partnership with our clients, while tightening our efforts towards achieving the critical balance between supply chain security and facilitation of international trade,” he said
This journey, he said started way back in 2009, “when URA kicked off the project to implement this unique program that offers a triangulated compromise between compliance, facilitation and control.”
“We started with only 10 companies in 2013 but today we are counting 117. This is a clear testimony that more companies are embracing the call for voluntary compliance,” he added