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UNCCI Weekly Newsletter 2017 – Volume 1 Issue 5

Invitation for 50th Cairo International Fair 2017

Members of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (UNCCI) and the entire business community in Uganda have been invited for the 50th Cairo International Fair, scheduled March 15-24, 2017. The business community is urged to positively consider participation due to enormous opportunity to do business matching, investment opportunities in many sectors, business agencies for Egyptian products and services and general trade with decent profit margin. For those interested, please come to UNCCI Secretariat to get more information on participation, visa and travel. Egypt is generally expanding business interest in Uganda and EAC region.

Agriculture mechanization equipment available at AgroMaxUg

AgroMaxUg is a devoted promoter of agricultural technologies. It is determine to assist farmers with the following: drip and overhead irrigation system; galvanized greenhouses and shade nets; quality propagated planting materials seedlings; holistic program designed for NGOs and individual farmers; hands-on training for specific customers including farm management; collection hub and a link to farmers to the market. It also stocks: anti birds nets, insect proof nets, fruit drying nets and planting bags among others. For commercial farmers, small scale vegetable and fruit farmers, please contact Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry for details on how you can access and work with AgroMaxUg. Uganda is spearheading agriculture mechanization to create value  addition and enhance export.

 Maize exporters from Uganda urged to observe standards

Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) called on all maize exporters including stakeholders in the production, processing and marketing to observe maximum standards in order to export to Kenya and Rwanda. The advice was given at a workshop organized by UNBS in conjunction with COMESA, EAC and SADC at Hotel Africana, January 31, 2017. Key stakeholders noted that over 60% of maize exports from Uganda are handled by the informal sectors who rarely observe standards. It was also revealed that maize cannot be allowed by UNBS, URA custom and the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries to cross through the borders unless the moisture content is 13.5% and below! Standards need to be checked at harvest, storage, drying, transport and loading levels, according to experts.

Money Expo 2017 draws nearer at Mandela National Stadium

The Money Expo 2017 for Agriculture entrepreneurs shall be at Mandela National Stadium, February 17-19, 2017. According to the CEO of The New Vision Media Group, Robert Kabusenga, the annual expo is to bring all stakeholders in the agriculture sector under one roof to amicably interact and showcase their products and essential services. Farmers, seed companies, extension services, agro-financiers, researchers, plant and animal breeders are expected to actively participate. Students will pay 5,000/=, while individuals will pay 10,000/= and those who need special training will pay 20,000/=. Many members of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry among other business community members are expected to participate.

O-Level results for 2016 revealed education is brisk business

The recently released result for O-Level 2016 revealed education is brisk and very lucrative business in Uganda. Majority of schools whose students excelled are private, apart from the traditional high-flyer schools with massive support from rich parents and alumni. Private schools throughout the country, including remote districts have excelled. Government schools farther away from Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso, Entebbe, Jinja and Mbarara registered majority of failures. Gone are the days when students from all corners of the country performed fairly uniform and could qualify to go for A-Level in schools far away from their rural homes. Private schools are at liberty to charge fees the way they want to provide quality teachers and scholastic materials to ensure good grades. The Government’s Universal Secondary Education schools are known for churning out mediocre over the years.

1st Agriculture Exhibition for EAC at UMA Lugogo

The 1st Agriculture Exhibition for the EAC region is being organized at Uganda Manufacturer’s Association Show Ground at Lugogo, March 24-26, 2017. The Exhibition that will attract participants from the six EAC member countries, Europe and Asia will cover all UMA halls and the open ground opposite Shoprite and Game supermarkets. International exhibitors are expected to display latest agriculture equipment to attract buyers from EAC. It is well known that EAC is very attractive market with a population of 158 million; only 22% in urban area with the rest in rural areas, mainly employed in agriculture; EAC has a combined land area of 2.42 million square kilometers; and a combined Gross Domestic Product of US $ 169.5 billion. It is expected that the Exhibition will attract over 2 million exhibitors, buyers and other participants.

EAC 2nd Manufacturer’s Summit & Exhibition in Kigali in May

The EAC 2nd Manufacturer’s Summit & Exhibition preparation is in high gear in Kigali, Rwanda, May 23-25, 2017. The Summit meant to create awareness, increase knowledge on manufacture, share lessons learnt and increased interaction and dialogue shall be open by H.E the President, Paul Kagame at the new Rwanda Conference Centre. The summit is being jointly organized by: Kenya Association of Manufacturer’s (KAM), Uganda Manufacturer’s Association (UMA) and the Tanzania Industries Confederation (TIC). It is expected that many investors coming from around the world will attend to network, conduct business to business and perhaps sign business deals to boost manufacturing within the region.

For further inquiries about the newsletter please use the following addresses: 0750788100, 0752626103, communications@chamberuganda.com

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UNCCI Members take on Anti-counterfeiting Goods Bill

Government of Uganda is proposing Anti-Counterfeiting Goods Bill to prohibit the manufacture and trade in counterfeit goods that infringe  upon protected intellectual property rights.

UNCCI members have taken this discussion with a mixture of opinions;

  • Some say this is a good law to protect those with good innovations.
  • Others argue that it instead hinders technology adoption which is a pillar for innovation. They insist that every technology builds on existing works.
  • Industrialists are saying that this is one way developing countries can develop local industries by leveraging on imported technology, for it will create cheap and affordable goods.
  • Proponents of intellectual property law view this as a duplication of efforts. They argue that instead all efforts be put to implementation of already existing intellectual property law.

UNCCI is receiving views and comments on this bill and to present to parliament for consideration.

To access the draft for your scrutiny, please follow the link below; Anti-Counterfeiting-Bill-2015

Please send your views to policy@chamberuganda.com.

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East Africa Legislative Assembly Visits UNCCI, November 2, 2016

The private sector of East Africa Legislative Assembly(EALA) have developed a Code of Conduct for business in East African Community together with Rules & Procedures. This is an initiative aimed at enhancing ethical business practices in the areas of Human Rights, Environment and Anti-corruption. UNCCI pledged that EALA take on to adopt the code and legalise it.

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Budget Highlights, Analysis and Tax Changes from EAC Partner States’ 2016/17

On 8th June 2016 the four EAC Partner States: – Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda jointly unveiled their Budgets for the Fiscal Year 2016/2017. The 2016/17 Budgets for the four countries have targeted following real GDP growth: 5.3% for Kenya, 7.2% for Tanzania, 5.3% for Uganda and 7.0 for Rwanda. (Burundi does not read their budgets at the same time as the other Partner States).

In order to spur growth of industries, employment creation increase revenue and enhance equity and fairness in tax administration, the Governments of the 4 EAC Partner States of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda came up with various tax changes as follows:

Customs Duty

In line with the decisions of the Pre-Budget Consultations of the Ministers responsible for Finance and Economic Affairs from the EAC Partner States which held their meeting in Arusha from 2nd -7th  May 2016, the Governments introduced the following changes with regard to EAC Common External (CET):

  • Iron and Steel Products

Aiming at protecting domestic iron and steel mills against unfair competition from cheaper imported iron and steel products, the EAC Partner States introduced a specific duty rate of USD 200 or 25% import whichever is higher on wide range of iron and steel products. Tanzania for example introduced 25% or USD200/MT, whichever is higher, for one year on following products:  HS Codes 7210.41.00; HS Codes 7210.49.00; HS Codes

7210.61.00; HS  Codes 7210.69.00; HS  Codes 7210.70.00; HS  Codes 7210.90.00;  HS Codes  7212.30.00;  and  HS  Codes  7212.40.00.     HS  Codes  7214.10.00;  HS  Codes

7214.20.00; HS Codes 7214.30.00; HS Codes 7214.91.00;   HS Codes 7214.99.00; HS

Codes: 7216.10.00; HS Codes 7216.21.00; HS Codes 7216.22.00; HS Codes 7216.50.00; HS   Codes   7228.10.00;  HS   Codes   7228.20.00;  HS   Codes   7228.30.00;  HS   Codes

7228.40.00; HS  Codes 7228.50.00; HS  Codes 7228.60.00; HS  Codes 7228.70.00; HS Codes 7228.80.00; HS Codes 7212.40.00; HS Codes 7215.10.00; HS Codes 7215.50.00; HS   Codes   7215.90.00;  HS   Codes   7216.61.00;  HS   Codes   7216.69.00;  HS   Codes

7216.91.00; HS Codes 7216.99.00.


(a) Tanzania increased CET rate on flat rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel from 0% to 10% on the following products: HS Code 7208.54.00; HS Code

7208.90.00; HS Code 7208.52.00; and, HS Code 7208.53.00

(b) Tanzania also increased the import duty rate on Bars and rods of iron and steel from 10 percent to 25 percent on the following HS Codes: `HS Code 7213.10.00; HS  Code  7213.20.00;  HS  Code  7213.99.00;  HS  Code  7227.10.00;  HS  Code

7227.20.00; HS Code 7227.90.00; HS Code 7308.20.00; HS Code 7308.40.00; and

HS Code 9406.00.90.

The above changes are in line with EABC Tax Proposals submitted to the EAC Secretariat following the CET Study Report on EA CET Review 2016 done by EABC and the Manufacturers associations.  It’s our hope the measures will cushion the domestic iron and steel mills against unfair competition from cheaper imports of the iron and steel products.

  • Portland Cement

In order to encourage and protect domestic production of cement in the country against stiff competition from imported cement, Tanzania has increased import duty rate on cement (HS Code 2523.29.00) for one year from 25% to 35%.

  • Textile and Leather Products

Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda increased the specific duty rate on worn clothes and shoes from 0.2 USD/KG to 0.4 USD/KG while Rwanda applied 2.5USD/KG for worn clothing and 5USD/KG for worn shoes. The measure is in line with EAC Summit directive requiring EAC Partner States to gradually phase-out importation of used clothes and footwear in the region. Meanwhile Uganda has proposed to increase the environment levy on used clothes, shoes and other articles from 15% to 20%.

To ensure that Partner States procure their textile and footwear requirements from within the region the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) meeting in Arusha on 27th May 2016 granted the request of Kenya and Rwanda  a stay application of the Common External Tariff (CET) rate on garments and leather footwear manufactured in Export Processing Zones (EPZ) on the 20% of the annual production allowed in the EAC Customs Union Protocol to be sold with the two respective Partner States for one year. This implies that Kenya and Rwanda will charge 0% import duty on the purchases of made up garments and leather footwear from their respective EPZs.

  • Sugar and Confectionery

In order to encourage domestic production, discourage importation and fight abuse in the usage of sugar for industrial use (HS.1701.99.10), Tanzania has decided to reduce progressively import duty remission levels on sugar and sugar confectionery from the current rate of 10 percent to 15% in 2016/17, 20% in 2017/18, and 25% in 2018/19.

  • Crude Palm Oil

Tanzania decided to  stay application of  0%  import duty on  crude oil  (HS Code

1511.10.00) and apply 10% for one year. The crude oil is used to manufacture edible oil. Tanzania’s measure is aimed at promotion of local production of oil seeds and growth of edible oil industries.

However, this measure is likely to create trade distortion given the fact that the other EAC Partner States mainly Uganda and Kenya are not applying the same measure and the Revised EAC Rules of Origin, 2015 does not qualify edible oil produced from imported crude palm oil as EAC originating.

  • Fishing Nets

Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda have increased the import duty rate of made up fishing nets (HS Code 5608.11.00) from 10% to 25% with the aim of protecting fishing nets which are manufactured locally in the region.

  • Aluminium Milk Cans

Tanzania and Kenya have increased the import duty (CET) on Aluminium milk cans (HS Code 7612.90.90) from 10% to 25%. The measure is aimed at protecting  local manufacturers who have sufficient capacity to manufacture these products in the region. In addition the two countries have grant duty remission to manufacturers of “Aluminium cans” on raw materials which are aluminium plates and sheets classified under HS Codes 7606.12.00 and HS Codes 7606.92.00 by charging a duty rate of 0%. Under EAC CET import duty of aluminium plates and sheets are 10%. This measure is aimed at encouraging production of “Aluminium cans” in the region.

  • Imposition of Import Duty on COMESA Goods by Uganda

Uganda has proposed to impose import duty on the various goods from COMESA. These   include:   lubricants,   un-denatured   alcohol,   steel   and   steel   products, electronics, paper & paper products and diapers.

NB: Unlike Kenya and Tanzania whereas their Budgets have included changes on Custom Duty (Common External Tariff CET) Uganda’s budget provided that the details of the adjustment of the CET rates will be gazetted by EAC Secretariat.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

Value Added Tax (VAT) being one of domestic taxes which are still under control of each country mandate, each Government made different changes to suit their budget objectives.

  • Tourism Sector

In order to revive the ailing tourism industry in Kenya, make it more competitive and promote local tourism the Kenya Government has proposed VAT exemption on commission earned by tour operators as well as exemption of park entry fees to the National Parks from VAT. Meanwhile contradicting this objective Kenya has also proposed to increase Air Passenger Service Charges by 25% for external travellers from USD 40 to USD 50 and for internal travellers by 20% from KES 500 to KES 600.

Tanzania however treated the tourism sector differently proposing to introduce 18% VAT on tourism services such as supplies tourist guiding, game driving, water safaris, animal or bird watching, park fees and ground transport services.

  • Financial Services

Tanzania proposed introduction of 18% VAT to all fee based financial services. Only interest paid on loans will be exempted from VAT. Meanwhile Tanzania proposed VAT exemption on Aviation insurance with the aim of promoting aviation industry which is considered to be still in infant stage and needs to be supported in order to be able to cover insurance risks without additional costs resulting from taxation.

  • Zero rate VAT between Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar for supplies of goods

Aiming at resolving the issue of VAT refund claims between Zanzibar and Tanzania Mainland the Government has propose to introduce VAT at 0% on the cross –union (Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar) supplies of goods .This implies that goods manufactured in Mainland Tanzania and sold to Zanzibar will attract 18% VAT in Zanzibar but 0% VAT in Mainland Tanzania while those goods manufactured in Zanzibar and sold in Mainland Tanzania will attract 18 VAT in Mainland Tanzania and

0% in Zanzibar.

  • VAT exemptions on ranges of products

Both Tanzania and Kenya introduce new VAT exemptions. In Tanzania new products which were exempted from VAT include: all processed vegetable and unprocessed edible animal products including live fish, fruits, nuts, cereals, seeds and soya beans; vitamins and food supplements; water treatment chemicals, and bitumen .

In Kenya the products which were exempted from VAT include:  supply of made-up garments and leather footwear supplied by Export Processing Zones (EPZ), all raw materials used in the manufacture of animal feeds, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) etc.

In  Uganda  exemption  was  proposed  on  solar  and  geothermal  power  projects; ranges of agricultural machinery, tools and implements such as hullers, oil presses, grain dryers, manure spreaders, fertiliser distributors, transplanters,  juice presses and crushers, seed and grain sellers, silage chopper machines, colour sorter for coffee and coffee roasters.

Though VAT exemption measures are intended to lower prices of targeted products this is unlikely to happen because VAT exemptions in most of cases add up to the cost of production due to the fact that the non-recoverable VAT associated with exemption will finally be passed on to the consumers in the form of higher prices of goods and services as producers do not claim for refunds. For domestic producers the best option will be rather zero-rating of VAT than exemption as this will allow them to claim refunds for VAT paid for other inputs used to produced final product.

Excise Duty

Given the fact that excise duty is among domestic taxes still not harmonized, each

EAC Partner State had liberty to come up with their own changes.

  • Motor Vehicles

Kenya has proposed to amend the excise duty on motor vehicles from the specific duty rates of KES 150,000 and KES 200,000 dependent of the age of the vehicle to an ad-valorem rate of 20% based on the value of vehicle.

  • Illuminating kerosene

Kenya has proposed to introduce excise duty on illuminating kerosene at a rate of KES7,205 per 1000 litre. The measure is intended to fight adulteration of other petroleum products with kerosene which was considered to be cheaper due to the absence of excise duty.

  • Petroleum Product Fuel

While Tanzania and Kenya maintained the current excise taxes on fuel, Uganda has proposed to increase excise duty on motor spirit (gasoline) from Ush 1,000 per litre to Ush 1,100 per litre and gas oil from Ush680 per litre to Ush780 per litre.  Uganda also proposed to increase excise duty rate of motor vehicle lubricants from 5% to 10%.

  • Cosmetics and beauty products

Aiming at harmonization of excise duty regime with other EAC Partner States, Kenya has proposed an introduction of excise duty at rate of 10% on cosmetics and beauty products.

  • Furniture

In order to promote local production of furniture using locally available timber

Tanzania has proposed to increase excise duty rate of imported furniture Code

94.01 and HS Code 94.03)   from 15% to 20% .In Uganda , the Government has proposed removal of excise duty on specialized hospital furniture from 10% to 0% while excise duty on other furniture remained unchanged at 10%.

  • Telecommunication services

Tanzania has proposed to introduce 10% excise duty to all charges or fees payable by a person to a telecommunication service provider in respect of money transfers to cover all commission received in the provision of mobile services. In Uganda, the Government has proposed removal of existing USh9 per minute excise duty on incoming international calls.

  • Plastic Bags

Tanzania has proposed to abolish the manufacturing, selling, buying and use of plastic bags of less than 50 microns. This measure is intended to improve the management and protection of environment against the effects of plastic bags.

  • Non-Petroleum Products

In Uganda the Government has proposed new excise duty of 80% on Ready To Drink (RTD) spirits and increased of excise duty rates on tobacco, cement which is Ush1,000 /50kg, cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose in solid form which will be Ush100/kg,   sugar confectioneries   which will be 20% .  In Tanzania the Government  has  proposed  to  increase  by  5%  excise  duty  on  non-petroleum excisable products (except bolted water) including alcohol, soft drinks, juice and tobacco. The new duties are as per below table:

Table 01: Tanzania New Excise Duty Rates on Non-Petroleum Products

S/N Goods Old Rate (TZS) Proposed           New


1 Soft drinks 55 per litre 58 per litre
2 Locally produced fruit juice 10 per litre 11 per litre
3 Imported fruit juice 200 per litre 210 per litre
4 Beer made from local un-malted

cereals (eg Kibuku)

409 per litre 430 per litre
5 Other beer made from malt 694 per litre 729 per litre
6 Other Non-alcoholic beer ( including energy drinks and non- alcoholic beverages) 508 per litre 534 per litre
7 Wine  produced  with  domestic

grapes content exceeding 75%

192 per litre 202 per litre
8 Wine produced with more than

25% imported grapes

2,130 per litre 2,237 per litre
9 Spirits 3,157 per litre 3,315 per litre
10 Cigarettes without filter tip and

containing      domestic      tobacco more than 75%

11,289      per      per

thousand cigarettes

11,854 per thousand


11 Cigarettes   with   filter   tip   and

containing      domestic      tobacco more than 75%

26,689                 per

thousand cigarettes

28,024                   per

thousand cigarettes

12 Other cigarettes not mention in

(10) and (11)

48,285                 per

thousand cigarettes

50,700 per thousand


13 Cut rag or cut filler 24,388per kg 25,608 per kg
14 Cigar 30% 30%
15 Lubricating oil 665.50 per litre 699 per litre
16 Lubricating greases Cent75 per kg Cent 79 per kg
17 Natural gas Cent  43  per  cubic feet Cent   45   per   cubic feet

However, charging of excise duty based on local content as it contained fruit juices, wine and cigarettes is likely to create trade disputes between Tanzania and other EAC Partner States intending to transfer (export) similar product to Tanzania as this tax will create discrimination between locally produced products and same or like imported ones. Article 15 on National Treatment of EAC Customs Union Protocol prohibits Partner States from enacting legislation or applying administrative measures which directly or indirectly discriminate against the same or like products of other Partner States.  Paragraph 2 of the same Article provides that “No Partner State shall impose, directly or indirectly , on the products of the other Partner States any internal taxation of any kind in excess of that imposed, directly or indirectly , on similar domestic products.

Other Changes on Taxes and Levies

  • Tax on Employers

Tanzania has proposed to reduce Skills Development Levy (SDL) from 5% to 4.5%. The measure is intended to provide employers with relief from tax burden and enhance compliance for revenue purposes. However, the measure is unlikely to meet the intended objective given the fact that in Tanzania taxes on employment are highest in the EAC region. Apart from 4.5% SDL, private sector employers are required to also pay

1% as Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) and contribute 10% as social security for the workers.

In Kenya the Government has proposed an additional tax deduction of 50% of the cost of the apprenticeship emoluments. However, for employers to enjoy this incentive they must engage at least 10 graduates from universities.

  • Other levies

Kenya has proposed to abolish 4% Sugar Development Levy (SLD), 1% ad valorem levy on tea, and all levies charged by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and National Construction Authority (NCA). These measures are intended to reduce the cost of doing business and eliminate administrative hurdles in Kenya.

In Tanzania the Government has proposed to abolish a wide range of fess and levies charged by various regulatory authorities which are considered to be undermining the Government efforts to improve business environment. The measures are intended to provide relief to various economic activities.

The respective fees and levies proposed to be abolished included:

(i)       Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA):

(a)        Export Permit for food – Tsh. 50,000;

(b)        Retention  fees  for  Human  and  Veterinary  medicines  from  domestic manufacturers – Tsh. 100,000;

(c)        Duplicate Certificate for Human and Veterinary medicines from domestic

manufacturers – USD 50;

(d)        Duplicate Certificate for Human and Veterinary medicines from foreign manufacturers – USD 100;

(e)        Evaluation of product promotional materials – Domestic – USD 50; (f) Abbreviated Advert – Domestic – USD 25;

(g)        Duplicate certificate for foreign food, medicines medical devices – USD


(h)        Duplicate certificate for foreign Medical devices domestic – USD 30; (i)            Duplicate certificate for Medicines Domestic – USD 50;

(j)         Retention fees for imported In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) – USD 150;

(k)        Retention   fee   for   domestic   manufactured  cosmetic   manufactured cosmetics – Tsh. 30,000;

(l)         Pre-registration  GMP   inspection  fees   for   domestic  pharmaceutical manufacturing sites – USD 250;

(m)       Medical representative foreign per company – USD 1,000; (n) 1% FOB value for cosmetics raw materials;

(o)        0.5% FOB for importation of pharmaceutical raw materials; (p)    Hospital permit for Psychotropic and Narcotics – Tsh. 10,000; (q)  Import permit for Psychotropic and Narcotics – Tsh. 50,000; (r)      Export certificates for pharmaceuticals – Tsh. 50,000;

(s)        Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product – Tsh. 50,000;

(t)         Inspection of new food processing facilities – small – Tsh. 100,000; (u)           Disposal certificates;

(v)        Health certificates – Tsh. 50,000; and

(w)       Trade fair fees – Tsh. 200,000.

(ii)       Cotton Board:

(a)        Uhuru touch contribution – Tsh. 450,000; and

(b)        Fee for District Council to deliberate on cotton buyers – Tsh. 250,000;

(iii)       Tea Board:

Fire and rescue levy – Tsh. 800,000.

(iv)       Coffee Board:

Cherry Processing License – USD 250

(v)      Cashewnut Board:

(a)        Cooperative Union levy – Tsh. 20/- per kg;

(b)        Transportation Fee – Tsh. 50/- per kg;

(c)        Task Force on Various Issues – Tsh. 10/- per kg;

(d)        Storekeeper costs – Tsh. 10/- per kg.

It is the expectation of the business community that the Tanzanian Government will continue to review the fees and levies charged by all agencies; regulatory authorities and local government authorities in order to lower the cost of doing business and improve business environment.

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Turkey Relations with Uganda Important

DSC_7085Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is visiting Uganda this week on the first leg of his two county east African trip. He will be visiting Kenya after he leaves Uganda on June 1.

The Turkish leader’s visit is an important one on many fronts not least of all that it is tacit approval of President Yoweri Museveni recent election victory. It is also an endorsement of Uganda as a important political and economic ally in the region.

The Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) has been ahead of the curve in recognising the importance of Turkey as a useful international partner. In December 2012 The Turkish-Uganda business council was establish, to facilitate the exchange of information between eth two countries’ business communities.

This followed two years later by a high powered business delegation. The members of that delegation had interests in agriculture, import and Export, transport, energy, real estate and construction.

Some useful contacts were made during the trip, which contacts have continued to pay rich dividends. Bilateral trade volumes stand at about $20m (sh70b) and Turkish companies that have set have invested more than $150m to set up enterprises in textiles, construction, education and electronic cables among others.

Turkey is a very useful partner for Uganda to have. For starters Turkey’s economy stands at $750b or more than six times the size of the East African Community(EAC). The $9,600 GDP per capita suggests that there is a huge market of the countries products and services. There is great scope for technology transfer as they have made some determined strides in the areas of the research and development in pharmaceuticals, agro processing and light industry.

But Turkey is not alone, or at least not very much longer. Turkey is in talks to enter the European Union (EU) whose economy is second only to eth United States. There have been several sticking points but one can assume that it is only a matter of time before Turkey takes its rightful place in the EU.

This may bring immeasurable benefits to our country and businessmen. While Turkey will adopt the protocols required to ascend to the membership of the EU, it would be fair to expect that our prior cordial relations will help our businessmen make more determined inroads into the EU because of the mutually favorable relations that will have been nurtured between the two countries.

But Turkey is also at the confluence of Europe and the Arab world so it can serve as a conduit for our products and services into one of the most populous regions on the planet.

Given the above it goes without saying that Turkey is and can be an important ally of Uganda.

Uganda’s most pressing challenge is job creation. If we can facilitate our businessmen’s entrance into markets like Turkey, it follows that our factories and companies would have to ramp up their output to meet the new demand.

We will need thousands even tens of thousands of jobs to be created every year In coming years if we are to more equitably distribute the economic growth but also maintain national stability.

There is still a lot of latent demand locally and regionally that our businessmen still have to tap into but it would not hurt to open up new markets further abroad as well.

We are glad for the visit of the President Erdogan and we hope and will work to make his trip a mutually fruitful and productive one.

The author if the President of the UNCCI

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Steps to Register a Company In Uganda

# Process Responsible Body Charges Requirements
1 Company name Reservation with Uganda Registration Service Bureau(URSB) URSB Ug.X 20,000 &  Ug.X 2,200 bank fee Company name assessment forms
2 Membership Subscription with Uganda National chamber of Commerce(UNCCI) UNCCI Annual subscription as per category

Associate =1,100,000/-

Gold = 510,000/-

Silver = 260,000/-

-Certified Name Reservation Form

-Business Case

-Passport copy & Photo of one of the directors

3 Company Registration to obtain the Certificate of Incorporation URSB – Registration fees: UGX 20,000

– Stamp duty: 0.5 % of the share capital

– Stamp Duty on Memorandum & Articles of Association: UGX 35,000

– Filing Fees: UGX 25,000

– Filing Form A3: UGX 20,000

– Filing Form 7/20: UGX 20,000

– Filing Form A9: UGX 20,000

-Filing Form A2: UGX 10,000

– -Company Books
– Memorandum of Agreement
– Articles of Association
– Declaration of companies.
– Form A1:
– Form A2:- Form A3:- Form 7:

– Form 9A:
– Company Resolutions:

4 Register for a Tax Identification Number (TIN) with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). URA No charges. The TIN application can be completed online on the website URA: ww.ura.go.ug. Personal inquiry form for each director.
5 Register for VAT with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) if the company has a threshold of over 50,000,000 shillings. URA No charges. Statement of Nominal capital Form that states share capital, number and class of shares, value of the shares.
6 Register  for the trading license with the Municipal Authority where the company premises are located Municipal Authority eg. Kampala Capital City Authority(KCCA) Charges depend on the nature of business and grade. Its assessed by Municipal Authority / KCCA – Memorandum and articles of association,

– Form 7: the name of the directors,

– Certificate of incorporation,

– Lease/ Tenancy agreement.

7 Register with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). All employers with more than 5 employees are obliged to pay an NSSF contribution of 10% to their employees. NSSF No charges


Please don’t hesitate to contact us in case you need further assistance.


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Business related Laws Enacted by Parliament of Uganda in Five Years (2011- 2016)

Date Passed Title Of Bill
03/03/16 The Uganda Development Cooperation Bill,2015
01/03/16 The Capital Markets Authority (Amendment) Bill,2015
06/01/16 The Financial Institutions (Amendment) Bill 2015
12/11/15 The Lotteries And Gaming Bill,2013
1/07/15 The Public Private Partnership Bill,2014
27/05/15 The East African Development Bank (Amendment) Bill,2015
27/05/15 The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill,2015
13/05/15 The Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill,2015
12/05/15 The Finance Bill,2015
06/05/15 The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill,2015
30/04/15 The Business Licenses (Miscellaneous Repeals) Bill,2015
26/03/15 The Hotel & Tourism Training Institute Bill,2013
10/03/15 The Trade (Licensing) (Amendment) Bill,2012
12/11/14 The Plant Protection And Health Bill,2010
08/10/14 The Excise Duty Bill,2013
08/10/14 The Finance Bill 2014
23/09/14 The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill,2014
16/09/14 The Tax Procedures Code Bill,2014
15/09/14 The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill,2014
15/09/14 The Stamps Duty Bill,2013
17/07/14 Public Private Partnership Bill,2012
05/12/13 The Free Zones Bill,2012
19/09/13 The Excise Tariff (Amendment) Bill,2013
19/09/13 The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill,2013
19/09/13 The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill,2013
18/09/13 The Finance Bill,2013
18/09/13 The East African Excise Management (Amendment) Bill,2013
21/08/13 The Industrial Property  Bill,2009
10/07/13 The Anti-Money Laundering Bill,2009
22/05/13 The Building Control Bill 2012
21/02/13 The Petroleum (Refining, Gas Processing And Conversion, Transportation And Storage) Bill,2012
06/02/13 The Geographical Indications Bill,2008
07/12/12 The Petroleum (Exploration, Development And Production) Bill,2012
22/03/12 The Companies Bill,2009
15/09/12 The Appropriations Bill,2011
09/09/11 The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill,2011
07/09/11 The Value Added Tax (Amendment)Bill,2011
07/09/11 Stamps (Amendment) Bill,2011
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Biomass a major core for energy Development

Qalaa Holdings’ Tawazon in Egypt announced signing a US$ 50 million, five-year contract with Ethiopia’s Messebo Cement to supply 100,000 tons of biomass annually which will be used as a source of energy to replace coal. As stipulated by the agreement between the two companies, Tawazon’s Waste Management subsidiary known as Egyptian Company for Solid Waste Recycling (ECARU) will be the technical manager and service provider responsible for collecting and processing local waste that will be converted to environmentally-friendly biofuel as compared to using natural gas, coal or oil that emit carbon.

Through lobbing and advocating for affordable, adequate and appropriate power solutions Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI), can help its members gain interest in the production of energy through use of waste residue at a large industrial scale.  Uganda energy sector still has major gaps that need to be tapped into; these gaps are a contributor to the high power tariffs that are a pain to industrialists.  Uganda needs to prioritize the energy sector inorder to acquire affordable power and on the other hand tax dividends through regional trade.

Dr. Hisham Sherif, CEO ECARU
Dr. Hisham Sherif, CEO ECARU

Dr. Hisham Sherif, CEO ECARU, says they are exceptionally proud to be able to transfer knowledge and years of experience to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa where biomass as a source of renewable energy has been largely untapped. ECARU has been supplying biomass and RDF as alternative fuels to cement companies in Egypt for the past three years”.

The contract with Messebo Cement, a plant located in Mekelle, 780 km from Addis Ababa with a production capacity of 2 million tons of cement per annum, is renewable beyond the stipulated five-year time period under the same terms and conditions. It marks the first step in what could be a series of mutual cooperation agreements in the area of knowledge sharing and technology transfer between Egypt and Ethiopia.

Tawazon, Qalaa Holdings’ subsidiary company for investment in the regional solid waste management industry, controls two companies: the Egyptian Company for Solid Waste Recycling (ECARU), a solid waste management service operator; and the Engineering Tasks Group (ENTAG), a solid waste management engineering and contracting company. Together, these two companies form a leading waste management enterprise with extensive operations in Egypt and an international project book in Oman, Malaysia, Sudan, Nigeria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Syria.

Qalaa Holdings Founder and Chairman Dr Ahmed Heikal
Qalaa Holdings Founder and Chairman Dr Ahmed Heikal

Qalaa Holdings has invested in Tawazon as part of its energy portfolio which also includes TAQA Arabia, Egypt’s largest private sector energy distribution company and the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC), a US$ 3.7 billion refinery, Egypt’s largest in-progress, private sector mega project.  UNCCI members need to extensively tap into this sector because it is a vital input in other sectors and a major contributor to employment.

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Uganda welcomes South Sudan into EAC Business Bloc – Mrs. Olive Z. Kigongo

DURING the 17th Ordinary EAC Heads of State Summit held in Arusha, Tanzania resolved to bring on board Africa’s newest nation. South Sudan was recently admitted into the economic bloc bringing the membership to six states.

Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry treats this as very exciting and a very big trading opportunity not only for Uganda but Africa as a whole.

As you might be aware Uganda and Kenya have been engaging and doing business in South Sudan until a few years back when there erupted political instability.

South Sudan has been the largest single export market for Uganda’s products worthy trillions of shillings. Lots of Industries were established and some expanded to take care of the South Sudan market.

The new entrant joins Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi and it will be part of the regional integration projects that have been the subject of discussion among member countries.

Now that there is an economic bloc in existence, there numerous advantages that include.

The population estimated to be slightly above 165 million people – where the EAC a single country it would be ranked ahead of Russia abut below Bangladesh as the ninth most populous nation in the world, will provide market (for consumption) then skilled and unskilled labour force.

Whereas this population is still quite poor with greater regional economic growth demand will increase in the region, which market can be leveraged  by local and foreign investors.

Since the Community  is the regional intergovernmental organization, it is strongly working towards a united, coherent market place, that will enable one to do business in a single market.

Equity firms are flooding into the East African Community market place is the potential to diversify their operations within this common market and mitigate risk. Operating in the East African community allows you at the one hand to quickly grow your operations from one country into the next, but should one country be hit by unforeseen circumstances such as conflict, terrorism, or natural disaster it also means that you can mitigate the risk by operating in the other member states without changing an entire market.

Also following the launch of the East Africa Exchange (EAX) in Kigali, the regional commodity exchange will connect buyers and sellers throughout East Africa and create easier access to intra-African and global markets. This is a transparent electronic trading platform that facilitates a regional commodity exchange.

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The Writer is the President of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The accepting of the South Sudan too may help put a stop to the chaos in our northern neighbour. Improved economic relations will and the growth of the middle class there as a result will make civil war a less attractive option.

South Sudan’s entrance into the EAC is welcomed and we look forward to greater and greater ties between our respective business communities.


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Uganda –Kenya bilateral relationship spots for greater regional trade opportunities

Last year the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) organized and hosted the Kenya-Uganda Business Forum at Kampala Serena Hotel to address  trade relations between Kenya and Uganda. The programme which included bilateral talks co-Chaired by both Trade Ministers in the respective countries Hon. Amelia Kyambadde and Amb. Dr. Amina Mohamed aimed at ensuring  improved  business conditions for the private sector to work more effectively and conductively, through more meetings for Business and Government. The bi-national relationship coagulates and positions the countries for regional trade opportunities negotiated at government levels such as the recent Memorandums of Understanding signed by Qalaa Holdings with the Egyptian export council for chemicals & fertilizers; and Expo One, a company that manages and organises local and international trade fairs.

Karim Sadek addressing the media at the signing ceremony (4)Qalaa Holdings, the parent company of Rift Valley Railways (RVR) signed these Memorandums of Understanding and gave  RVR a mandate as the official Inland transportation carrier for Egyptian Exporters of chemicals & fertilizers, and also promote its services at local and international trade exhibitions.  While addressing journalists at a press briefing during the signing, Qalaa Holdings Managing Director for Transportation and Logistics Mr. Karim Sadek noted Egypt and East Africa would mutually benefit from the agreements signed.  “We look forward to seeing these MoUs transform into official agreements in the near future as we truly believe that they will be a win-win proposition for both Egyptian exporters and Rift Valley Railways. Our competitive, reliable and volume driven pricing for inland transport will help open up new markets for Egyptian exporters in East Africa.” “RVR’s move into a contract-based revenue model, with incentives to clients based on higher volumes, will set a precedent that can be applied to other countries that trade with Kenya and Uganda,” added Sadek.

At the moment, RVR is the most efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly mode of transporting goods in East Africa. The railway offers a unique door-to-door transportation and customs-clearance service through its subsidiary East Africa Rail and Handling (EARH) that can help exporters tap into new markets and grow the volume of intra-regional trade.

RVR is in the final stages of implementing a successful US$ 287 million capital investment and turnaround program that began in January 2012 to revitalize the railway. Since the start of the renewal program, the company has invested the above mentioned amount in modern rail operating technology, rebuilding infrastructure, expanding haulage capacity and developing modern rail operating skills in RVR’s 2,000 strong workforce. Today RVR is seeing improved safety and reliability, increased capacity and a significant improvement in the overall efficiency of the operation.

RVR’s Chairman Titus Naikuni said, “Becoming the official inland transportation carrier for an Egyptian export council is a significant step that will help lead the way to broadening and deepening trade and investment between Egypt and East Africa. We are also pleased to be entering into a cooperation agreement with a company like Expo One to develop larger volumes of trade and highlight the benefits of rail transport.”


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Update On News from Around the EAC Region as at 6th March, 2016

Please find below some updates on what has been going on in the EAC region:-

  • New Generation passport for East Africans unveiled ( Daily Nation- 3rd March, 2016) Regional heads of states have launched the New Generation International East African e-Passport. The passport was unveiled Wednesday during the ongoing 17 Ordinary East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit being held in Arusha, Tanzania. President Uhuru Kenyatta is attended the meeting. READ MORE
  • Govts on the spot over pace of EA integration ( The Citizen- 4th March, 2016) The East African leaders yesterday stressed that governments should be facilitators and not impediments to the smooth flow of business in the region. READ MORE
  • Relief as East Africa postpones ban on mitumba ( Daily Nation- 4th March, 2016) Traders dealing in used clothes got a temporary relief after the East African Community heads of state postponed the planned ban on mitumba to 2018. READ MORE
  • Why EA needs JPM’s forceful presence ( The Citizen- 2nd March, 2016) As the East African Community summit convenes this week, it will be welcoming a new club member—President John Magufuli, who won perhaps the most competitive of Tanzania’s elections since the advent of multi-partyism. READ MORE
  • EAC fiscal policy: are we moving in the right direction?( The Citizen- 1st March, 2016) The East African Community (EAC) has come a long way in a short time. The Customs Union was implemented in January 2005; the Common Market Protocol in July 2010 and the Single Customs Territory commenced in January 2014. READ MORE
  • Used Vehicle Ban Floated, to Promote EAC Factories ( The Citizen- 3rd March 2016) East African Community (EAC) leaders are considering banning the importation of used vehicles, clothes and shoes to promote motor vehicle assembly and the textile and leather industries in the region. READ MORE
  • Telephone call costs to fall in 2 EAC states ( The Citizen- 3rd March, 2016) Charges on telephone calls made to Tanzania and Burundi are set to drop significantly as the two countries prepare to adopt the region’s uniform roaming charges. READ MORE
  • Graft killing growth in EA, leaders say ( The Citizen- 2nd March, 2016) Business leaders in East Africa meeting here ahead of today’s summit of regional leaders yesterday heard how corruption has stifled the flow of investments into the region. READ MORE
  • Fraud hurts EAC business ( East African Business Week- 5th March, 2016) The East African Business Council, which met here ahead of the East African Community Summit last week, has said corruption has stifled the flow of trade and investments into the region.  Dennis Karera, Chair of the EABC said the East African business leaders were concerned that the corruption index in the region was growing and hampering the bloc’s economic growth. READ MORE
  • Sudan joins the EAC, despite mass atrocities: Why this is part of a ‘War of Definitions’—and about big money( Mail and Guardian Africa- 5th March, 2016) SOUTH SUDAN has officially became the sixth member of the East African Community (EAC), joining Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The country had applied to join the bloc on independence in 2011, but the admission process stalled due to legal and institutional weaknesses, before being put on ice when a civil war broke out in 2013. READ MORE
  • Political stability best for business in EAC ( Business Week- 29th Feb, 2016) The Uganda election has had it’s fair share of controversy and this has affected business in many different ways. For starters, many businesses were shut down for the period of the elections, as was evident in many media broadcasts. Several business owners avoided the main urban centres, ostensibly to participate in the voting. There were several ‘advisories’ issued out through the various outlets to friends, etc to stock up on food. and other necessities. READ MORE
  • Burundian unfit for EAC post: activists ( The Citizen- 1st March, 2016) A day before Burundi nominates the new secretary general of the East African Community (EAC) to replace Dr Richard Sezibera whose tenure ends in April, a coalition of human rights activists wants the country stopped from picking the official. READ MORE
  • East Africa: EAC Summit Admits South Sudan( All African- 5th March, 2016) he East African Community (EAC) Summit, which held its 17th ordinary Summit here last week, has admitted South Sudan as its sixth member in a move that is set to widen the regional market to nearly 160 million. READ MORE
  • African businessmen gather in Tanzania over regional economy (Insider- 2016) Businessmen in the East African region will meet in Tanzania’s tourist town of Arusha next week to review the performance of the sector ahead of the summit of the East African Community (EAC) heads of state on February 29, a senior official said on Saturday. Dorcas Ngure, communications officer with the East African Business Council (EABC), an apex body of the private sector associations in the region, said the meeting will attract chief executive officers (CEOs) of the corporate bodies and firms from the five partner states of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda. READ MORE
  • Rwanda anti-corruption stance spreads to EAC counterparts (Uburenganzira- 4th March, 2016) Leaders of the previously five-nation regional grouping have put in place new rules under which private companies could be sanctioned if they are involved in corruption. The 17th leaders’ summit of the east African community (EAC) held in Arusha Tanzania endorsed a private sector “code of conduct and ethics” that sets high standards for companies. Companies will be required to “do what is right” to keep their businesses clean. READ MORE
  • Nkurunziza’s man set for top EAC job ( The Citizen- 2nd March, 2016) One of the staunchest political supporters of embattled President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi is likely to become the new East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, The Citizen can report. Well-placed sources within the regional body confirmed the Burundian is being lined up to succeed Dr Richard Sezibera whose tenure ends in April. READ MORE
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On Wednesday 2nd March 2016, Arusha, H.E Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli Chair of the Summit of the EAC Heads of State and President of the United Republic of Tanzania and His counterparts, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda, H.E Paul Kagame President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Dr. Joseph Butore, 2nd Vice President of the Republic of Burundi and H.E during the 17th Ordinary Summit of the East African Community Heads of State launched the Code of Conduct for Businesses in EAC Region.

The launch was preceded by the unveiling at the East African Business Leaders’ Summit by Mr. Dennis Karera, EABC Chairman and various CEOs that included; Mr. Vimal Shah, CEO Bidco Africa, Mr. Faustin Mbundu, Chairman MFK Group, Mr Francis Onapito, Director Nile Breweries, Mr. Econie Nijimbere, Chairman Burundi Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry,  Mr. Arvnind Dhariwal, Managing Director AVCO Investments among others.

The Code of Conduct together with its Rules and Procedures formulation serves to guide the actions of EABC members consistent with their individual company’s Code of Ethics and other existing national and international level codes. It is aimed at enhancing ethical business practices in the areas of Human Rights, Labour Standards, and Environment, Consumer protection laws and standards and Anti-corruption.

The EAC Code of Conduct for business will be managed by a Code secretariat hosted by EABC, whose duties will include: promoting business ethics and motivating others to become Code members; managing member registry; facilitating training and workshops and web portal management for providing information on business ethics. Subsequently, a Code committee consisting of representatives of selected member companies and other stakeholders shall be appointed by the Secretariat to review, investigate and resolve reports of transgression of code by members submitted by the Secretariat.

Source: http://www.eabc.info/highlights/view/eabc-launches-business-code-of-conduct …

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