Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is now the institution tasked with issuance of a Certificate of Origin in the country.
The authority will commence issuance at Kampala and Entebbe and roll out the service in other regional offices in the next six months. The Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) has been issuing the certificates.
A Certificate of Origin is a shipping document indicating that shipped export goods are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country for easy traceability.
The URA commissioner general, Doris Akol made the announcement during a meeting held on the Electronic Single Window project implementation team and over 180 exporters.
The meeting deliberated the implication of the Finance Act 2016 whose implementation follows the directive by the Minister of Finance in the 2017/17 budget.
"Issuance of CoO by URA will lead to immediate reduction of key export costs like payment of CoO and registration fees with the reduced costs totalling to over US$50,000" said Akol.
Forecasts indicate that the change and a fully implemented Electronic Single Window (ESW) will enable businesses to save over US$500,000 annually, thanks to the creation of the ESW system.
TMEA through funding from DANIDA is supporting the Electronic Single Window system that is being implemented by URA.
Other agencies in the process include: the Uganda National Bureaux of Standards, National Drugs Authority, Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Coffee Development Authority.
Once the ESW is rolled out, exporters will not re-register, as URA will use the existing UEPB database that already has over 30 exporters registered.
The Electronic Single Window will reduce paper work required from traders during import and export by integrating different institutions and agencies. Such documents include import and export permits, trading invoices, and certificates of origin.
To ensure smooth roll out, adoption and utilisation of new systems, URA will set up Trade Facilitation information desks within the Commissioner of Customs offices where the business community can access important information in real time.
Moses Sabiiti, the country director TMEA Uganda commended the government's intervention of eliminating the requirement of multiple registration and fee payment.
"We are honoured to partner with the government of Uganda to increase our country export capacity. Government has proven its commitment to boost export capacity, which we believe, will lead to creation of employment as export businesses thrive," said Sabiti.
Present Ugandan exporters expressed optimism in increased efficiency of business processes with the on-going automation.
They urged the government and its partners to expedite automation of UEBP systems as they had direct impact on business environment in Uganda.