Uganda and South Sudan tax authorities have signed a memorandum of understanding where the two countries shall cooperate when enforcing their duties.
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the National Revenue Authority of South Sudan (NRA) on Tuesday signed the agreement in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.’
URA tweeted Wednesday that the agreement stipulates that the two tax bodies would provide each other with assistance in digital transformation programs, tax enforcement planning, information sharing, training, and benchmarks, among other things.
Simon Juach Deng, ambassador of South Sudan to Uganda, while speaking at the signing event, said the memorandum is formalizing the relationship that already exists between the two countries. “Uganda is one of the neighbors that we are doing a lot of business with, and we have a lot to learn from them, more so from URA because they are ahead of us in revenue mobilization,” he said.
John Musinguzi, URA’s commissioner general, thanked the NRA for the support accorded to the URA in cross-border trade. “Thank you for supporting our joint efforts that have seen our countries create a conducive environment for fair and compliant business and as well fight vices like smuggling,” said Musinguzi.
Athian Ding, the commissioner general of the NRA, reassured the URA of their cooperation in the fight against smuggling and said tighter border controls would be effective in mitigating it.
Early this year, URA and NRA signed a bilateral agreement where they resolved to implement joint border patrols and surveillance operations along the borderline with the aim of fighting smuggling, a vice that continues to eat into the revenues of both countries.
While South Sudan is one of Uganda’s largest trading partners in the region, trade between the two countries is marred by challenges including insecurity, smuggling, and strikes by truck drivers.