Busia fish traders decry high clearance costs, taxes

Busia fish traders decry high clearance costs, taxes

Busia, Uganda | URN | More than 300 fish traders have deserted Busia fish market citing double taxation and high costs for clearing fish products for export.

The fish traders claim that they pay Shillings 20,000 to get a clearance form, Shillings 50,000 for an export permit and US$ 0.05 per kilogram of fish for export to Uganda Revenue Authority whenever they go through the Busia One Stop border post.

The traders say that in addition to these charges, they also pay other costs and daily market dues. The traders say that they are no longer doing good business because most of their profits are eaten by the many taxes.

Justine Mugeni, the secretary of fish traders in Busia fish market says that the charges have forced more than 300 fishermen out of business. He called for the intervention of the relevant authorities to help them stay in business.

Tito Wafula, another fish trader says that they have opted to use porous points to dodge the excessive taxation imposed on them whenever they pass the one-stop border post.

Muzamiru Wafula, another trader says that they are oppressed by double taxation, which has affected their capital. He says that URA taxes even traders carrying less than 50 kilograms of fish.

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Duncan Kakonge, the URA manager in charge of the Eastern region says that they only charge US$ 0.05 on each Kg of fish and the traders pay Shillings 20,000 to get clearance forms to a private clearing company working with the revenue body.

According to Kakonge, he isn’t aware of the Shillings 50,000 the traders say they pay for export permits because the permits are issued by the district fisheries office.

He cautioned cross border traders to desist from illegal practices, saying they risk being penalized.

Stephen Mugeni Wasike, the Busia District LC V Chairperson says that he is engaging URA together with the traders to come up with a mechanism for proper revenue collection to avoid complaints of double taxation.