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Poultry Feeds Dealers in Fresh War with URA Over Delayed Containers Clearance

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A section of poultry feeds dealers under their umbrella organization of the Poultry Association of Uganda have renewed their fight for Justice over the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA)‘s before clearing their containers into the country.

URA, in September, introduced two new taxes including the Value Added Taxes  (VAT) of 18% and Import Duty of 10%, in addition to the already existing Withholding tax on the poultry feeds which pushed the dealers into an uproar.

After consultations and different engagements with stakeholders, John Musinguzi the URA Commissioner General told Parliament that the tax had stayed as more consultations were going on.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, PAU members said that URA has never implemented what they promised yet the feeds are becoming little in the country.

“I personally have 21 containers on the border now and 46 en route, meaning over 60, URA has played me games since then,” George William Kayongo a trader and a member of PAU told reporters.

“Whenever we go to URA, we are toasted from one office to the other with no clear guidance,” he added.

According to PAU, URA wants them to sign Indemnity Letters committing to pay these taxes in the future, in case it’s decided so.

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“It’s hectic because why would you put conditions on the clearance because it means that we shall sell the feeds at the normal prices only to be charged, is that business? We can’t do that,” they said

These said that even their colleagues who managed to the letters have failed to get their containers.

“We have 500 containers stuck at border posts and 500 other containers en route, the officers at the borders are ignorant because of poor communication,” he said 

A delay in clearing the containers, they say said attract extra charges including; detention fee ($250 per day), and parking fees, among others.

Farmers Narrate Ordeal

Richard Kirabira, poultry farmer and the Director of Chicken City Agribusiness which combines 200 poultry farmers in Wobulenzi said that the situation has worsened the Investment they put in farming.

“A broiler grows for between 32 and 45 days and requires at least feeds Shs1600 and Shs2200 but these taxes have increased by 28%, government should first look into the implications before bringing the taxes,” he said 

“The taxes will lead to the increment of the prices of Chicken which top government officials can afford but the majority of the population can’t and this will lead to the collapse of our businesses,” 

According to Kirabira, Uganda’s made feeds are substandard and cannot be trusted on the international market.

Samwiri Oyo Amooti, a farmer from Kyenjojo said that the taxes are affecting their production through increasing costs yet the prices of eggs and poultry products are on the same price.

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URA Speaks Out

Speaking via Phone call, Ibrahim Bbosa the Assistant Commissioner of Public and Corporate Affairs at URA said that the poultry farmers’ feeds dealers are just exaggerating the situation.

“We have a 30 days window and it will elapse in 10 days from today (Sunday). The situation is now normal and no taxes are being levied. The issue in contention is about the law we are still engaging with stakeholders and the final say will be made after 30 days,” he said 

Bbosa defended the Indemnity Letter being protested by the dealers because there is a need for URA to have a confirmation that either the taxes will be paid or not depending on what will be decided.

“We have cleared containers of the three top companies here it is not true we are not clearing them. The process has been streamlined, the law is very clear, and URA has the mandate to collect the taxes of the previous years,” he said.

Bbosa advised traders to get the letters and clear their containers back, instead of playing blame games.

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