URA clears air on oxygen taxes

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Tax collector Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has cleared the air on taxes on oxygen plants, cylinders and bottles as the demand for this medical supply outstrips demand due to an upsurge in Covid19 cases.

A statement by URA acting URA commissioner for public relations Ian Rumanyika confirmed oxygen plants, cylinders and bottles were exempted from taxes.

In a statement by acting assistant commissioner for public relations and corporate affairs Ian Rumanyika, URA noted that Legal Notice No. EAC/89/2020 issued June 30, 2020 amended the Fifth Schedule of the East African Community Customs Management Act, item 20, “to cater for Covid19 supplies.”

The notice spelt out exemptions for “any supplies for diagnosis, prevention, treatment and management of epidemics, pandemics and health hazards as recommended by the competent authority in the ministry responsible for health.”

“Based on the aforementioned, oxygen gas cylinders are considered an essential tool used in diagnosis, prevention, treatment and management of the Covid19 pandemic and are therefore exempted from all taxes in line with the fifth schedule of the East African Community Customs Management Act (EAC CMA),” Rumanyika said in the statement issued June 21.

A dysfunction in the administration of medical oxygen, essential in treatment of critically ill Covid19 patients, caused the untimely death of tens at the Mulago National Referral Hospital last week, according to a Daily Monitor report.

The oxygen tanks or bottles/cylinders are key in conveying this medical oxygen to patients.

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