We are pleased to share with you the approved list of raw materials under the Duty Remission Scheme that was published through the East African Community (EAC) gazette Vol. AT 1 - No. 10 on 30th June 2020.
The Duty Remission Scheme is a facility embedded in the East African Community (EAC) Protocol under section 104. It is designed to help manufacturers within the East Africa Community and Uganda to access raw materials and essential inputs from outside the EAC at concessional import duty rates.
Successful applicants are therefore compiled and published through the EAC gazette for all the East Africa Countries.
Highlights from the Duty Remission sensitization webinar
On the 19th of May, 2020, Uganda Manufacturers Association held a webinar with officials from Customs department, URA under the theme: “Embracing the duty remission facility to enhance industry competitiveness amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic”
The duty remission scheme is a facility embedded in the East African Community (EAC) Protocol under section 104. It is designed to help manufacturers with essential inputs within the EAC and Uganda for to access raw materials and essential inputs from outside the EAC at concessional import duty rates for instance items at 25% reduce to 10% or those at 10% to 0%, thus reducing cost of essential inputs and enabling manufacturing competitiveness.
Mr. Masiko Elinathan, the inspector tariff Customs department, URA listed down a number of products that had been accorded preferential rating to spur their respective production under the duty remission scheme. Unbleached printing paper, tetra pack, exercise books, matchboxes, fishing nets, assembly of ships, manufacture of dry cell and motorcycle batteries, agricultural equipment, local syrup for sweets, wheat rolls, textiles, shoes, furniture among others are some of the products earmarked under the duty remission scheme.
He emphasized that a manufacturer who wishes to export to the EAC states ought to express interest in the Regional Duty Remission Scheme and NOT the country (National) specific duty remission scheme. Why? Products under country (national) specific duty remission attract Common External Tariff once goods are exported to the region. (This means that one ought to pay taxes once goods cross the national borders). Therefore, a company whose products cross borders need to express interest in the regional duty remission scheme as a cushion against unnecessary taxation within the EAC.
However with a certificate of origin, a manufacturer is able to export to the EAC at 0% import duty under the Regional Duty Remission Scheme.
When expressing interest to have products under duty remission, manufacturers were cautioned against submission of wrong harmonised system (HS) CODES, a challenge which the commissioner custom said would make their products susceptible to taxation. Kindly refer to the 2017 version of the CET for appropriate HS CODES.
Filing of Returns: After expressing interest, a company ought to make an estimate of capacity and consumption of its products i.e; for 3 tons of industrial sugar, an estimate of 2.5 tons of sugar would be appropriate.
While some members of UMA have fully utilised the duty remission facility to great effect, uptake of the same continues to be low despite all effort, the number of companies responding to calls for application is still small compared to the wider UMA membership.