URA Receives Trade Facilitation Boost for Marine, Border Surveillance Operations

Patience Rubagumya (L) Commissioner Legal Services and Board Affairs URA and Yutaka Fukase (R) from JICA cutting the tape to the boat on Wednesday

Kampala – Uganda Revenue Authority on Wednesday received patrol items worth UGX1.7b that will boost cross border trade and improve surveillance on water bodies.

These include a two engine Yamaha Speed Boat, two double cabin motor vehicles and an x-ray baggage scanner (that is being installed today at Elegu One-Stop Border Post) that will enhance implementation of the Project for Enhancing Trade Facilitation & Border Control Capacity in East Africa.

These donations are part of the support by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) towards delivering Regional Economic Development through trade facilitation enhancement in East Africa.

“These patrol items received today, especially the speed boat, two double cabin motor vehicles and their accessories, night vision, and searchlights are great assets that will facilitate regular joint border/water surveillance activities at our borders for example; Malaba (Kenya/Uganda), Busia (Kenya/Uganda), Lake Victoria, Mutukula (Tanzania/Uganda), and Katuna/Gatuna (Uganda/Rwanda)”, noted Abel Kagumire – the URA Commissioner Customs.

The Yamaha Speed Boat is designed with heavy duty steel and it is capable of operating in tropical conditions and extreme weather.

Yutaka Fukase (2nd L) handing over the keys of the vehicles to Patience Rubagumya Commissioner Legal Services and Board Affairs who represented the CG on the day.

An increase in surveillance and patrols on or around lake/land borders for trade will contribute significantly towards the reduction of smuggling as more importers will be expected to use customs gazetted routes other than the ungazetted routes on lakes.

On the other hand, the X-ray Baggage scanner will detect contrabands conveyed by travellers through customs; strengthen customs function of protection of society from harmful and prohibited goods such as weapons which may not ordinarily be declared to customs; while limiting physical checks which improves doing business in a safe environment in the era of COVID-19.

“The technical support from JICA is timely because it comes in at a time when the East African Customs Administrations have agreed to improve the efficiency of border procedures and enhance border control.”, added Abel Kagumire.

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