Tax body Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has granted Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) license, during an event held at Speke Resort Munyonyo on November 11th 2022.
AEO is a trade facilitation program on the international movement of goods that have been approved by or on behalf of the Customs administration that complies with the World Customs Organisation.
According to URA, AEO facilitates trade and promotes the security of the international trade supply chain. “Under this status, businesses which comply with customs laws and regulations will benefit from customs preferential treatments such as fast clearance of their goods through simplified procedures, reduced inspection authorized company in Uganda is therefore eligible to apply and join the EAC AEO regional program and thus when authorized, can now enjoy the regional benefits which apply equally in all the five EAC countries.”
Commenting about the AEO Status, Jackie Tahakanizibwa, UBL Corporate Relations, Public Policy, and Regulatory Affairs Manager said the company will be in a position to perform electronic declarations without attaching supporting documents, ability to make pre-clearance or pre-arrival declarations and automatic renewal of withholding tax exemption.
“The long wait is finally over; we have been granted AEO status. I thank the team at URA for this development and all we can promise our clients and regulators is increased efficiency and improvement in production, “she stated.
Other benefits include priority treatment when Customs select the goods for examination and improved cargo handling efficiency at the seaport that results in quick container and truck turn-around time to minimize demurrage and truck detention costs.
The primary targets for AEO are manufacturers, customs clearing agents, bonded warehouse keepers, importers, exporters, transporters, and freight forwarders. “Under the AEO program also, there is an arrangement called Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA); where other customs administrations recognize the AEO program of their counterparts. This can be at a bilateral, sub-regional or regional level.”
According to data from the East African Community (EAC), AEO tackles these challenges by shifting the perspective, so that instead of focusing on the goods themselves, Customs focus on the traders.
This implies that Customs can handle the consignments of such companies with fewer controls compared to others. That way the AEO program is an instrument for growing compliance.
“The AEO program is therefore looked at as one of the programs that will help Customs within the EAC improve efficiency and effectiveness in securing the international trade supply chain while at the same time facilitating trade.”
AEO status also reduces the cost associated with the movement and clearance of goods, opens the doors for unlimited opportunities, and is the key to unlocking the potential of your businesses.