By Claire Nakaayi and Samuel Balagadde
Transit cargo trucks destined for cross borders are to be weighed only at points of loading where they are to be issued with stickers indicating the loaded capacity and at the end point.
This is as part of efforts to reduce non-tariff barriers in East African Community member states. Kenya reduced weigh bridge requirements for Ugandabound cargo.
However, there are more than three weigh bridges between Malaba (Uganda) and Katuna (Rwanda).
Sarah Banage, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) the assistant commissioner for public and corporate affairs said: “transit
cargo will have stickers and will be weighed only at entry and exit. The weigh bridges will now be used for local cargo.”
Uganda’s 2010 Weigh bridge Regulations under the Traffic and Road Safety Act of 1998 limit vehicles with gross weight exceeding the permissible combined axle load weight depending on the category of the vehicle. The overall maximum gross weight is 56 tonnes.
Under the regulations, whoever refuses to take the vehicle to be weighed at designated weigh bridges commits an offence and the excess weight has to be off-loaded and the driver or owner taken to court for legal action.
Steven Birahwa Mukitale, the MP for Buliisa County and Chairman national economic committee pointed out that trucks loaded with scrap are usually overloaded and are a danger to the roads.
“Should the railway start operating, heavy cargo should not be moved by road but by rail,” he said.
The Kenya- Uganda railway will be extended to Rwanda by March 2018 to boost trade.