URA acquires 27 cargo scanners to improve trade facilitation

By Julius Odeke.

Uganda Revenue Authority has acquired 27 baggage and cargo scanners to strengthen inspection of imports, exports and also address security controls at the different border points throughout the country.

According to the acting Commissioner Corporate Affairs, Ian Rumanyika, he said,  “The new scanners are an addition to those stationed at Malaba, Busia, Mirama Hills, Elegu, Entebbe and Mutukula One-Stop Border Posts.”

These scanners were manufactured by Nuctech Company Limited, the scanners have advanced X-ray non-intrusive technology that has been adopted the world over insecurity and inspection.

Mr. Rumanyika adds that “This kind of technology gives a better perspective compared to the normal side scans in case of detection of contraband, illegal weapons or any other dangerous objects. At Entebbe International Airport, for example, a cargo scanner will for the first time inspect consignments without a customs officer.”

 Mr. John RujokiMusinguzi, the Commissioner-General of URA appreciated this first batch of scanners with support from the Government and Nuctech. The government has invested Shs100 billion to support Customs work and in the end, contribute at least 30 percent of the revenue.

“Uganda’s economy is growing and with this kind of technology, we should be able to meet the tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio in the next three years,” Mr. Musinguzi affirmed.

He also encouraged staff to equip themselves with the skills and exercise high levels of integrity while operating the equipment emphasizing that, “Technology is only as good as the human resources behind it. Our staff manning this equipment should be alert, inquisitive, and honest while operating these scanners.”

 Abel Kagumire, the Commissioner of Customs promised addition of 12 scanners by October which will be stationed at all the 39 border stations country-wide. With scanners in place, there will be no excuse for contraband and revenue loss from untaxed goods.

Meanwhile, the acquisition of the scanners is a quick response to a call made by H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during the URA at the 30 Years’ Thanksgiving ceremony to have scanning equipment at border stations to curb illicit trade ■

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