Complaint number
NTB Type
2.6. Additional taxes and other charges  
Egypt has received a complaint from one of our exporters who also intends to invest in Uganda and establish a manufacturing plant of the products ( processed food products ) he is currently exporting to Uganda and the importing company is “ Afromarket King – Imports &Exports LTD” . The complaint is concerned with the imposition of high taxes and duties , in addition to top ups on exported goods by Egypt of processed food in specific the following HS codes including :
200990 210330
210320 210390
210390 210320
210690 210390

The incident of imposing high tax , duty values and top ups has been repeated on two separate occasions:

1- On Entry no. C116891: (latest incident )

A consignment of foodstuff (Ketchup and BBQ sauce HS codes : 2103200010; 2103900090) of a value of USD 5672.64 (five thousand six hundred seventy two dollars and sixty four cents ) was subjected to very high values of tax and duty of UGX 25,979,379 which was paid on 1/12/2022. However, before the goods were released a top up of UGX 18,508,223,57 was imposed ( still not paid ) .
This shipment has not enjoyed the COMESA preferential rates , despite the fact it is accompanied by a COMESA certificate .

2- ON ENTRY NUMBER C58313 AND C58340 : (earlier incident)
The first assessment for both the entries was for C 58313 amounting to 14,351,118 with a delivery terms F.O.B and C 58340 amounting to 9,272,169shs with a delivery term CIF , that is a total of 23,623,287shs. Despite the amount was too much the importing company paid off the tax( paid on 18/6/2022, it was also noted to him that this high valuation was a mistake made by the clearing agent according to the officer. It is worth mentioning that the total value of goods in both entries was USD 3982 (three thousand and nine hundred eighty two US dollars).

After clearing all dues, a top up of 38,755,713shs was imposed, delaying the release of the goods. Yet, the importing company paid the top up amount to release the goods on 2/7/2022.
The reasons given at the time for the top up:
i. Alternative values had to be used as the primary method of determining the customs value of imported goods.
ii. As stated by the officer, “the information availed to customs shows that we are first-time importer of the assorted goods from Egypt. The sales contract No: UG-001 of 10/03/2022 indicates payment terms of 60days from Bill of Lading date. They wondered how the supplier can allow such terms to a first time buyer without a letter of credit or a bank guarantee”. It is worth mentioning that the importing company has a manufacturing all these food stuff in Egypt.

Furthermore, despite the fact that the importer submitted a COMESA certificate to qualify for the COMESA rates he was informed that goods don’t qualify for COMESA since they are sensitive products being manufactured by the local communities.
Having reviewed the Circulation of Uganda’s current Sensitive List to COMESA Member STATES(attached), it is evident that none of those products are in the sensitive list except for nectar juices (HS code 200990) which are subject to the EAC common external tariff of 35%.

It is worth mentioning that on the two occasions of the above mentioned cases “ Afromarket King – Imports &Exports LTD” made an Appeal to the Assistant Commissioner Trade , Uganda Revenue Authority , Head Office. Yet, no reply was received to date.
In light of the above , Egypt respectfully requests that the Ministry of Trade ,Industry &Cooperatives acting as the Focal point of Uganda looks into the reasons of imposing such high taxes and duties in addition to top ups , in coordination with Uganda Revenue Authority . The imposition of such high taxes , duties and top ups have the effect of discouraging new Egyptian exporters and investors from accessing Uganda’s market.
Egypt is looking forward to the explanation and clarifications of the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Cooperatives , as soon as possible, with respect to the taxes , duties and top ups noting that the first case consignment Entry no. C116891 (latest incident ) is not released yet and pending the payment of the top-up which is unjustifiable in Egypt's view .

Progress update note
1. During the consultations held during the 12th TWG on TBT-SPS- NTBs , Uganda and Egypt Focal Points agreed to organise a bilateral consultative meeting between the Focal Points , Revenue Authorities and affected companies on Tuesday 24th Januray 2023
2. A bilateral meeting between the two countries was held on 1st Feb. 2023 where it was observed that Uganda Revenue Revenue Authority had not granted preferential treatment to the goods in accordance with COMESA rules
and therefore charged the high duties . In that regard, the meeting agreed, among other things, that Uganda provides the sensitive list of products exempted from receiving preferential treatment by 3rd Feb. 2023 to establish if the affected products were on the sensitive list of products or not. Subsequently, the Secretariat uploaded onto the online system the following documents forwarded by Uganda to the Secretary General:
a. EAC CET 2017
b. Finance Act 2014 and
c. Uganda Finance Bill 2016
3. The Secretariat convened a stakeholders bilateral consultative meeting to take place on 22 August 2023. However the meeting could not take place because stakeholders from Uganda were not available.
4. During the 3rd meeting of the COMESA Regional NTBs Forum held on 20- 22 September 2023 , it was agreed that this NTB will be considered resolved subject to Uganda providing evidence in the online platform of the following : .
i. The sensitive list has been revised and goods from Egypt are granted COMESA preferencies ;
ii. URA is applying valuation for the goods in according to the WTO rules;
iii. The process to refund duties and other charges has commenced and the client was officially notified accordingly; and
iv. Uganda to share the revised sensitive list and also evidence on communication to client.  
Policy or regulatory NTB
Uganda: Uganda Revenue Authority (Government institution)  
Reporting Country or Region
Country specific trade issue
Date of incident
In process  
Product Description
Ketchup and Barbeque sauce (latest consignment in December 2022 )
Nectar Juice due pack and tetra; Tomato paste , mayonnaise, Ketchup , mustard , Barbeque sauce , Hot sauce, hazelnut chocolate ( first consignment in June 2022 )

Total value
Date reported
2022-12-09 16:58  
2023-02-01 14:14