What is a parcel?
    A Post parcel Or postal article includes letter,postcard,packet,parcel,or
    other article whatsoever, in course of transmission by post.

    How are the Posted parcels cleared through customs?
    There are a series of customs activities,processes, procedures, tasks and decisions that when taken in laid down sequence produce a desired result as indicated below;

    • The owner(client)produces the call notice to post office staff at the Post office Building.
    • The parcel is retrieved and presented to Customs by Post office Staff.


    • The Parcel is then opened and then opened and the contents verified by the Customs officer in the presence of the owner of the Parcel.

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    • If the value of the goods in the Parcel is USD 50 above then the Customs Officer at the Post Parcel Office Captures a simplified Single Administrative document(assessment notice)for the cargo in the Parcel, and issues an assessment of the taxes to the recipient.
    • Assessed Taxes are paid to URA authorised Bank.(The clients are given 21days within which to pay the taxes. If one fails to pay within stipulated time, the parcel(s) may be transferred to the customs warehouses in nakawa where they may be auctioned to recover taxes)
    • A receipt is issued to the client by the respective Bank.
    • The Client presents the receipt to Customs office at Posta for release of the Parcel.
    • The officer confirms payment releases the goods to the client.

    How the parcels postal article destined to the country side (Up country) are cleared out of customs controls?

    • Under circumstances where it is not possible to have clients available for verifiication,parcels are verified at Kampala M ain Post office by customs staff in presence of Posta Uganda staff.
    • Where the Value of the goods is USD 50 and above, then the customs officer at Post Office Kampala manually assesses the taxes payable and attaches the assessment on the Parcel Goods are handled over to Post Uganda for dispatch.
    • Assessed Taxes are paid to Posta Uganda at Upcountry Offices where parcels are delivered. Posta Uganda remits the money to URA for the Custom’s officer to reconcile data and close the account (Recently we introduced a method where we generate assessments for Upcountry Parcels which are sent alongside the actual Parcels as well whereby the client up country can pay directly to the Bank instead of paying the taxes to Posta Uganda; this is done in the major towns like Jinja, Entebbe, Mbarara, Kabale, Mbale and Fort Portal, among others).
    • Any goods that are not collected are returned to Kampala Post Office and renconciled.A general list is made including unclaimed parcels from the Kampala Main Post Office and parcels transferred to Customs warehouses for public auction.

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    Are there prohibitions or restrictions on goods transmission by post?

    • All Prohibited goods are seized and retained according according to Section 210(a)
      of the East African Community Customs management Act.E.g Drugs, narcotics, pornographic items.
    • All Restricted goods are held until the relevant authorities accord conditions regulating their importation.E.g NDA authoritizes importation of all human drugs in the country.

    How are customs values of the goods determined?

    • The owner of goods is required to present the true invoice value of goods being exported or imported on customs declaration forms provided.
    • The value and classification of the goods inside the parcel determine the taxes payable.
    • In the absence of the declarations, the value shall be determined in accordance with the 4th schedule of the East African Community Customs Management Act to determine values of goods as alternative valuation methods are used (under GATT valuation methods)
      N.B Some Clients intentionally under declare the values since they know that the threshold is USD 50 the client needs to know that the Customs officer is mandated to uplift the value or apply alternative valuation methods under GATT valuation methods in case the declared value does not match the contents in Parcel).

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    Do i have to pay taxes if the goods in my parcel are gifts, donations or personal effects?

    • Yes, you have to pay taxes. All goods into the country are regarded as imports and liable to pay taxes, unless the value is below USD 50 or tax exempt by law. A list of exemptions is provided in he fifth scheduler of the East African Community Customs Management Act.
    • The East African Community Customs Union common external tariff book contains the tax rates per item.

    What kind of tax is collected on imported goods in parcels?

    • Import Duty-based on the common external tariff and therefore varies with each item.
    • VAT – at 18 %
    • Excise duty- The rates vary depending product being imported (Refer to the nder the Excise Tariff Amendment of 6%
    • Withholding Tax-form of refundable Income the time of importation at a rate.

    DaksCouriers can be your ultimate partner at customs.

    A Publication adopted from

    Uganda Revenue Authority
    P.O. Box 7279 Kampala, Uganda
    Telephone: (0417)442 054, 440 000, 443 150
    Fax (0414)334 419 Email:
    | Twitter@URAuganda | Facebook@URApage

    URA TOLL FREE HELPLINE: 0800 117 000

    This Information is strictly for purposes of guidance to our clientele and is subject to change on amendment of tax legislations & any other regulations that govern tax administration.

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