UGANDA – Members of the Kampala Rice Traders Association have threatened to sue the tax body (URA) over the proposed 18% tax levied on rice imported from Tanzania.

The association’s secretary, Robert Ssentongo, has announced their intention to challenge the tax and seek compensation for rice that was impounded by the URA for two weeks.

The traders, while protesting the payment of this new tax, claim it is not provided anywhere in the provisions of the East African Community Treaty.

In addition to their legal threats, the traders are highlighting the potential consequences for consumers. The proposed import duty and a 75% Value Added Tax (VAT) could result in significantly higher prices for rice, which could place a burden on the average consumer.

In light of these issues, the traders are calling upon the URA to collaborate with them to find a resolution rather than resorting to heavy taxation and threats.

The controversy surrounding the 18% tax on Tanzanian rice imports has escalated to a legal standoff between traders and the Uganda Revenue Authority.

The implications of this taxation on both traders and consumers have prompted a vigorous debate, prompting calls for a more collaborative approach to address the issue.

This comes two weeks after URA paralyzed business at the border town of Mutukula, Kyotera District after impounding 100 trucks ferrying rice from neighboring Tanzania.

These trucks intercepted at the Customs Office, have caused significant traffic jams, blocking other traders from conducting their usual business at the busy Uganda-Tanzania border point.

Robert Ssentongo, the associations’ secretary says they will also demand to be paid billions of shillings for the spoiled rice after URA impounded their rice trucks.

The intercepted trucks brought normal trade operations to a halt, as traders found themselves unable to conduct their usual business activities at the Mutukula border.

The impoundment also sparked frustration and disruption among traders, leading to growing concerns about the economic impact of the incident.

Some of the traders who turned up in a press briefing in Kampala have explained how they travel to Tanzania and import some of the 50 indigenous types of rice but the Uganda Revenue Authority lacks experts to tell if the rice is from East Africa.

According to them, the machine procured by URA to detect the rice from Tanzania is not competent having tricked it with rice from Uganda which if falsely confirmed to be Pakistan.

They now call upon URA to work along with them so as to solve the pending issue rather than using threats with huge taxes.