Cross Border Trade - Uganda
Quick information guide
Help desk for women cross border traders
- Existence of a woman champion/revenue Officer at the border who assists small scale women traders
For export quality and standards
- Work closely with the Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) for support and guidance;
- Get your products certified by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS);
- Enroll for the capacity building programmes offered by UEPB, UNBS and the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI);
- Join an Association/group that caters to your products;
- Participate in trade fairs and exhibitions; and
- Strive for continuous improvement in your production.
Uganda presents numerous opportunities for cross border traders. These opportunities fall in various categories including:
- Beverage crops,
- animal and animal products,
- horticulture and others;
- processed food products,
- construction and hardware material,
- chemical products and others.
Cross Border Trading in Uganda
Facilities women in business can utilize at the borders
There are several facilities available at the borders.
Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has a desk officer also known as Champion for Women who captures entries for small-scale traders.
Other facilities available are:
- One Stop Centre Border Posts facilitate the joint clearing of goods through an automated integrated border management system. The Busia, Mutukula, Elegu, Mirama Hills borders currently operate as one stop border posts;
- E-single window system for online processing of Importers and Exporters regulatory documents like permits and customs declarations using single access points which reduces transaction costs, time;
- Simplified Export regime (dubbed ES 9) and Simplified Import regime (PB4) for passengers carrying low quantity goods;
- Joint processing of documents between the trading countries;
- Recognized and licensed Clearing Agents;
- Cargo Scanner;
- Parking yard for trucks;
- A store for small scale traders to keep goods as they undertake document processing; and
- Rest rooms.
Services for women entrepreneurs cross border traders
Several services are offered at the borders for women entrepreneurs.
Uganda cross border women traders’ associations at border points like Elegu, Malaba, Busia, Mutukula, Mpondwe, Aruu provide advisory and advocacy services.
Other services include:
- Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda recognize their respective national identification cards as official travel documents;
- The Interstate Pass is a temporary travel document valid for six months.
- Cross Border Export Zones
- Tax Sensitization and awareness meetings
Uganda’s trade partners
The principal destination markets for Ugandan exports are Kenya, DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the main informal cross border trade partner with total informal export trade worth US$291.48 million (2017/18) followed by Kenya at US$149.94 million and Rwanda at US$19 million. Between Uganda and Sudan, common commodities are food stuffs including dried cassava, beans, maize, dry fish, ground nuts.
- 49% of Uganda’s total intra-Africa trade (exports + imports) is with Kenya.
- Other important trading partners are South Africa (12%), DRC (9%), Rwanda (9%) and Tanzania (7%).
- Uganda sources intra-Africa imports from Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt and Swaziland.