On May 30 this year, Members of parliament after a heated debate passed the Traffic and Road Safety Act 1998 (Amendment) Bill 2018 which provides for banning importation of motor vehicles that are eight years old or more from the date of manufacture.
Français Résumé: L'URA a donné pour instructions aux autorités des ports de Mombasa et de Dar es Salam d'interdire tous les véhicules d'occasion à destination de l'Ouganda dont la date de fabrication dépasse 15 ans.
Why the ban on importation of vehicles manufactured before 2003?
The basis of the tough amendments by government has to do with the danger that the emissions from these cars cause on the environment.
Initially, the Ministry of Finance proposed a ban on cars manufactured beyond a period of 8 years. But the Parliament Committee on Finance after consultations with the relevant stakeholders instead proposed a phased ban beginning with vehicles with a 15 year age limit.
Update on the ban on old cars as of October 1, 2018
Now, URA has made directives to the authorities at the ports of Mombasa and Dar-es-Salam to prohibit all used vehicles bound for Uganda whose date of manufacturer goes beyond 15 years.
The same Bill provides for variation of motor vehicle registration fees as well as environmental levy on old vehicles that are 8 year and above since the day of manufacturing.
The Commissioner for Customs at URA, Dicksons Kateshumbwa said that the ban took effect yesterday, Monday October 1.
Effective last night midnight, no car that us older than 15 years us allowed to be imported in the country; Kateshumbwa told the press on Monday.
“We have alerted our teams at the ports of Mombasa and Dar-es-Salam. We have also adjusted our system to make sure we put that restriction,” he added.
In the financial year 2016/17, URA cleared 50,000 vehicles generating about USD 342,361,500 million (Shs 1.3 trillion) in taxes.
Car dealer’s perception on the ban
Car dealers say the ban on older vehicles will sharply lower these figures but in addition, about 11,000 people who are currently employed in the car industry are likely to be left jobless.
The dealers say that out of the 50,000 vehicles imported by Uganda annually, only 10% are new vehicles that fall under the 8 year age limit (manufactured after 2011). URA has given the car dealers three months to clear their old stock.
As African Mobilities Observatory - AMO, we believe its high time to consider initiatives to combat climate change in Africa as an aggregate but not as units in an nonuniform manner.
Would such bans lead to an emission free Africa??? What is your take on this?
By Joseph Semuju
Community Manager - AMO
African Mobilities Observatory - AMO, MICHELIN