Businesses told AEO status reduces red tape
March 15, 2018— Ugandan business owners have been asked to improve their compliance levels so that they can be attain an authorised economic operator (AEO) status that saves time and money by offering preferential treatment during clearing of goods at customs.
Doris Akol, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General was addressing participants at the 4th World Customs srganization (WCO) global AEO conference being hosted by URA on behalf of the government.
During the three-day conference, participants will be involved in discussions on AEO in the context of e-commerce, postal services, the possibility of using block chain for the exchange of AEO information, synergies and other projects that have been developed under the AEO program.
Dickson Kateshumbwa, the URA Commissioner of Customs URA said the AEO program in Uganda has been a great success towards improving revenue collection. He hoped that after the conference, more companies, businesses will be encouraged to better their compliance levels and benefit.
“So far we have 51 companies on the program and these contribute 28% of the revenue. We hope to add more companies as this will help us in meeting our revenue targets,” Kateshumbwa said.
He asked all Ugandans especially the business community to take interest in this conference as it will provide them with the information they need in enhancing their business operations. A significant number of Uganda’s business owners prefer to operate at the edge of formality and very reluctant to provide full disclosure.
The AEO concept is based on the Customs-to-Business partnership introduced by the WCO. The introduction of the AEO status resulted in customs making a distinction between two categories of goods flows: goods from certified enterprises, and goods from non-certified enterprises which face more scrutiny and procedures due to their non-AEO status.
Over 1000 international and national delegates including customs operators, government officials and business communities from 92 countries.
The conference which is being hosted in Africa for the first time, brings together a number of policy makers and implementers, development partners and civil society and business community to discuss challenges, and way forward about the customs operation in different countries and how they can be improved to enhance revenue collection as well ease the process of clearing taxes for the business community.