BUSINESS

URA announces measures to streamline cargo management

Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner General John Rujoki Musinguzi (PHOTO /Courtesy)

In a bid to enhance cargo management and accountability in bonded warehouses, Uganda Revenue Authority will effective October 1st implement the Bonded Warehouse Information Management System (BWIMS).

BWIMS is one of the trade facilitation interventions specified in the Domestic Revenue Mobilization Strategy to address the challenges of the increased volumes of goods and movement through the bonded warehouses.

According to URA, this solution is expected to improve cargo supply chain visibility, information sharing, ease stock management and facilitate cargo clearance in bonded warehouses.

The implementation of BWIMS follows a world Bank report of 2018 that noted that about 95% of entries coming from Mombasa Port use the bonded warehousing facility to get goods entering into Uganda. This has had an effect on efficient cargo control and revenue collected.

The report also recommended automating processes and procedures to enhance the monitoring of restricted entry into customs controlled areas to manage bonded warehouses. The absence of a comprehensive inventory management system has also been a challenge in the warehouses and greatly affected revenues. These and more have been challenges affecting a number of warehouses.

“BWIMS will therefore provide opportunity of a safe and secure supply chain process at all clearance stages to bond operators, the business community and URA. The roles and responsibilities for the bond operators/ keepers, clearing agents, transporters and bond officers have been streamlined. They will be registered in the system as key players in the cargo management process,”

URA
“BWIMS will therefore provide opportunity of a safe and secure supply chain process at all clearance stages to bond operators, the business community and URA. The roles and responsibilities for the bond operators/ keepers, clearing agents, transporters and bond officers have been streamlined. They will be registered in the system as key players in the cargo management process,” URA said in a statement on Monday, September 19, 2022.

Since advancing technology and integrating systems are key drivers for business efficiency and revenue growth in modern warehouses, importers and exporters will also benefit from verification at Owners’ Premises, Garage Repairs, temporary releases, bond transfers among others. BWIMS will also deal with falsification of documents or information because the system largely depends on the authenticity of the pre-arrival information or documentation and detailed examination accounts.

The system has so far piloted with 6 bonded warehouses that is; Spedag Inter freight, Cosmos, Liberty, Lexus, Toyota CFAO and Victoria Motors. These will be fully operational effective October, 2022.

During this pilot phase, all bonded warehouses are expected to adhere to the new licensing requirements by conducting thorough stock audits. This will ensure that all overstayed cargo is cleared to avoid auctioning it.

Meanwhile, URA is currently conducting awareness activities, webinars and trainings for all bonded warehouses to equip them with information in handling BWIMS. Part of the engagement is to have them extend operational time to cover weekends.

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