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Uganda Implements Cash Travel Restrictions for Amounts Over Sh30M

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Government of Uganda has implemented a procedure requiring travelers entering or leaving the country with substantial amounts of cash to declare it to Customs, aiming to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

To enhance transparency and accountability in financial transactions, the Government of Uganda has instituted a standard procedure applicable to individuals entering or exiting the country with negotiable bearer instruments or cash equal to or exceeding 1500 currency points, where one currency point equals UGX20,000.

This established procedure, which has been in effect for a considerable duration, necessitates a declaration to be submitted to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Customs at the border checkpoint. It is important to emphasize that no taxes are imposed on the declared funds.

This protocol aligns with the customary global practice at border crossings to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. In Uganda, it is mandated by Section 10 (1) and Regulations 10(1) (a) and (b) of The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2013.

Essentially, any amount equal to or exceeding 1500 currency points constitutes a controlled item, requiring the owner to declare it to Customs and proceed through the designated red channel.

The routine procedure enforced by the Ugandan government regarding the declaration of negotiable bearer instruments or currency exceeding 1500 currency points is a pivotal measure in combating money laundering and terrorism financing.

This procedure is legally mandated and conforms to global standards, fostering transparency and accountability in financial dealings.

Declaration Procedure:

The declaration process is designed to be efficient and user-friendly for travelers. Departing passengers are obliged to complete Form C (blue form), while arriving passengers must complete Form D (yellow form). Subsequently, they are required to submit the completed form to a URA Customs Officer along with their passport copies. The officer verifies the declared amount without direct handling of funds, ensuring a non-intrusive procedure.

The declaration process typically takes 15-20 minutes to complete, after which travelers are allowed to proceed with their funds, exempt from taxation on the declared amount. Following submission, Customs forwards the declaration forms to the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) for analysis and advisory purposes.

Confidentiality is rigorously maintained throughout the process. If the FIA identifies any potential indications of funds being used for illicit purposes, it assumes responsibility for the investigation.

Recently, the URA, in collaboration with the Financial Intelligence Authority, conducted training sessions for Customs officials at Entebbe International Airport, emphasizing the preservation of clients’ privacy throughout the process.

These coordinated efforts underscore Uganda’s steadfast commitment to fostering a transparent and equitable economic environment at border crossings, in accordance with international norms.

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