Uganda flag Uganda: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Uganda

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of COMESA - Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa

Member of EAC - East African Community

Member of Cotonou Agreement

Member of African Growth and Opportunity Act beneficiary country

Non Tariff Barriers
Uganda has some formal trade barriers, though bureaucratic inefficiencies, high transport costs, corruption, and an influx of counterfeit consumer products are the primary reasons for increased costs for foreign businesses. In recent years, Uganda has phased out import bans on beer, soda, batteries and cigarettes. Importing beef, chicken, and dairy into Uganda involves lengthy paperwork and slow to little processing - essentially banning the import of these products into Uganda. In addition, Uganda has tariffs on basic food stuffs like flour, sugar, and food-grade oils.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Uganda has adopted a 3 band duty structure for imports from outside of the East African Customs Union (EACU) agreement. These 3 band rates are:

  • finished products are subject to 25% duty
  • intermediate products are subject to 10% levy
  • raw materials (excluding foodstuffs) and capital goods are 0% (duty free)
Customs Classification
Uganda is a member of the World Customs organisation and does comply with the harmonised customs system.
Import Procedures
Uganda Revenue Authority requires somes documents to clear the process of importation:

  • Import declaration
  • Content particulars
  • Suppliers invoice
  • Documented evidence carriage of goods
  • Customs value declaration
  • Compliance information
  • Good release order evidence

Import certificates, issued by the Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industry are required for goods on a "negative list," including used tires and certain types of batteries, and have a validity of six months.

Importing Samples
There is no specific procedures for samples shipments. Sample shipments require the same set of documents as a normal shipment.
The value of goods should still appear on the commercial invoice indicating "for customs clearance purpose only'' on the invoice.
Zero value invoices are not acceptable.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

For Further Information
Uganda Revenue Authority
Uganda Trade Portal
Business Portal for Africa

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Latest Update: May 2024

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