- April 4, 2022
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Uganda Sets Ultimatum to ban importation of old vehicles
The government of Uganda has proposed amendments in the Transport and Roads Safety Act 1998, to ban the importation of vehicles that are nine years old, and above.
According to the ministry of works and transport, the amendments are intended to streamline the transport sector, reduce road accidents and conserve the environment.
The state minister for Finance Amos Lugolobi who tabled the amendments in parliament last week said this will see the banning of the importation of vehicles to Uganda.
According to Mr. Lugolobi if the amendments are implemented, will curtail the emission of toxic gases into the atmosphere, something that will add weight to environmental conservation.
“If it was one vehicle, you would compromise. But people import very many cars, very old cars which emit toxic gases into the atmosphere, cars that developed countries are trying to get rid of, and get them exported to African countries whose population do not clearly understand the danger in these cars,” Lugolobi said.
“Even us here in Uganda, we have made substantial progress in trying to stop the importation of these harmful cars. The other time, a fifteen-year-old car could not be allowed to enter the country. In this arrangement, we seek to reduce very old cars on Ugandan roads, and we are saying any car of nine years and above will not enter Uganda. People think they increase their savings by purchasing very old cars. The older your car is, the more taxes you pay to the URA, ” added Lugolobi.
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) had earlier notified all car importers that they have until July 1st this year, to import any quantity of old cars they feel like.
Now, minister Lugolobi has also urged all car importers to respect the URA directive, saying that the exports which will be ferried into the country beyond the stipulated deadline will pay an extra fee in taxes.
“URA passed this notice, such that you don’t at this time order for a car that is nine years old and above, the notice has been made public, we are in the month of April, meaning that by July 1st, those in transit will have reached Uganda,” he noted
The road safety amendments were also tabled alongside Tax collection amendments, through which the government is seeking to increase its tax base by fronting transparent collection techniques.
In September 2018, the government banned cars older than fifteen years from being shipped into the country, following the enactment of the Traffic and Road Safety (Amendment) Act 2018.
The initial government proposal to effect the ban on 9-year-old vehicles had been abandoned, after eliciting passionate opposition. Now, it has come into play.
The current amendments which will tighten it to nine years and above are expected to knock out the importation of many used cars and render more than 100,000 unemployed.
The Act will maintain the extended age of cars exempted from the environmental levy to eight years from the original five years.