By Allen Kisakye

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has banned the importation of all second hand vehicles that were manufactured 15 years ago.

Passengers or goods’ vehicles that are older than eight years and below 15 years will pay a levy equivalent to 50 percent of the value of the vehicle and only vehicles manufactured after 2010 can be allowed into the country without paying the levy.

Already, an estimated total of 5,500 motor vehicles are in bonded warehouses and in transit as at September 28. However, according to URA, no motor vehicle will be allowed in the country when it is 15 year old and this include vehicles cleared through the ports  of Mombasa and Dar el Salam.

According to the commissioner of customs, Dickson Kateshumbwa, exemption will only be given to long haulage trucks which include agricultural machines, forestry tractors, earth moving tractors, compressing machines and road rollers.

The move follows section 14A (1) of the traffic and road safety act 1998 (Amended) act, which states that  ‘A person shall not import a vehicle that is fifteen years or older from the date of manufacturing.

Government is looking forward to mobilising about Shs16 billion from domestic revenue and of which shillings 15,938.8 billion will be collected by URA as tax revenue and shillings 420 billion as in tax non-revenue

URA is also planning to increase on motor vehicles first registration fee which has been pushed from Shs1million to Shs1.3 million.

According to Kateshumbwa, the ban is aimed at protecting the environment and public against the dangers resulting from pollution and also to reduce on cases of road accidents since most of them are reported to be caused by vehicles in poor mechanical position.

Earlier, Rubanda East MP Henry Musasizi, who was the chairperson of the committee of finance, planning and economic development when the Bill was bought to Parliament had said even though done with good intentions, but the ban of old cars will render 11,000 direct beneficiaries unemployed