By Mbabazi Hanning Gonzaga
The commissioner in charge of customs at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Dickson Kateshumbwa has in a public notice announced that all cars abandoned at Mumbasa will be sold if owners don’t show up to clear dues noting that its only Ugandan citizens who will be eligible to this process.
“Pursuant to sections 34(1), 4 and 42(1) of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004, the commissioner informs the general public that these motor vehicles shall be disposed of by way of public auction, “the notice reads in part.
Government last year banned the importation of vehicles that are older than 15 years from the date of their manufacture. The ban, however, took effect on July 1, 2018 with the new financial year. Traders were, however, given three months up to September 30 to have all the vehicles on the way into the country.
The immediate impact of the new policy hiked prices of cars. For instance, traders said, the price of a 14-seater taxi has increased from Shs 45m to Shs 70m while a Super Custom previously at around Shs 35m now costs Shs 50m.
Some of the high-on-demand vehicles are expected to be off the market or extremely expensive for buyers to afford, traders warned. They include Vitz, Spacio [both old and new models], Harrier, Wish, Toyota Allex, Toyota IST, Subaru Forester, TX Prado, Noah, and Premio.
Government also introduced an environmental fee on vehicles which are five years old but do not exceed eight years from the date of manufacture excluding goods vehicles and this is expected to be 35 percent of the price quoted by a seller including all other charges as deemed by the seller.
A 50 percent fee will be charged on vehicles which are more than eight years old or more from the date of manufacture whereas vehicles that are five years or more old but are designed to carry goods will pay 20 percent of the price quoted by the seller as an environmental fee.