By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has intercepted over 10,000kgs of illegal cosmetics products at Mini Price, Nalukolongo, and the Northern Bypass.
According to URA, the cosmetics were disguised under Movit cosmetics products loaded on two trucks, registration plates UAU 839E and UBB 993F.
Among the illegal cosmetics URA found include, Carolight lightening cream, Diproson, Skin Light, Clairmen lightening cream, Coco pulp, citrolight, Cocoderm lightening cream, white secret lightening, body lotion, body oil and soaps among others.
According to URA’s enforcement manager, Geoffrey Balamaga, the targeted operations have impounded over 250 tons of counterfeit cosmetics alone in the last two months.
“These cosmetics are prohibited for importation in Uganda because they contain hydroquinone and mercury chemicals scientifically proven to be one of the leading causes of skin cancer, ”he told the press
The East African Community Customs Management Act (EACCMA) prohibits the importation of such harmful products and protects society from consuming such goods in the region.
Under Section 199 of the EACCMA, the transporting vessels, in this case, are liable to a fine not exceeding $7000, and any vessel and goods in respect of which such offense has been committed shall be liable to forfeiture.
Balamaga said the tax body has the responsibility to facilitate legitimate trade goods and protect Ugandans from consuming harmful products.
“Importation of such smuggled illegal products also creates unfair competition on the market because they do not pay taxes which disadvantage traders who deal in safe cosmetics and pay taxes,” he noted.
He said the smuggling of illegal cosmetics has manifested in the areas around Lake Albert, the porous points of Mpondwe, Hoima area, Congo borderline in the west, Bunagana, Butogota, and others.
URA has on several occasions intensified operations to curb the smuggling of contraband items by leveraging the use of non-intrusive inspection technology at the border points and field intelligence enforcement operations.