British American Tobacco (BAT) Uganda said yesterday that it supports the formulation of balanced and equitable laws, insisting that it would always work with stakeholders towards realization of the full benefits of East African Community (EAC) regional integration.
The statement, produced yesterday, comes just days after the company won a tax dispute against the Ugandan government at the East African Court of Justice (EACJ).
“Not only does the judgment safeguard the letter and spirit of the EAC Treaty and Protocols, but we believe that it will provide an opportunity for fair competition by levelling the playing field for products from EAC partner states. This will in turn stimulate much needed economic growth in the EAC region,” the BAT East and Central Africa Head of Legal and External Affairs, Simukai Munjanganja, said in the statement. Late last month, the EACJ found the Ugandan government acted illegally by imposing Excise Duty on goods imported by BAT within the region.
This was a violation of the East African Community Treaty, Customs Union and the Common Market Protocols.
The ruling followed a case filed by British American Tobacco (BAT) Uganda, challenging the government over the Excise Duty (Amendment) Act of 2017, that was assented to by President Yoweri Museveni June 13. The tax was later implemented on July 1, 2017 with Uganda Revenue Authority subsequently issuing assessment notices to BAT on the basis of the amendments to pay Excise Duty for cigarettes manufactured in Kenya and imported to Uganda.