How to Import a Car to Uganda: VAT, Duties & Delivery (Updated for 2018)

by Barasa Oluru Protus, BE FORWARD Customer from Uganda

When buying and importing cars from Japan to Uganda, it’s important to consider the costs of shipping and taxes and plan ahead to calculate the total cost. In this article, I give details about my personal experience importing a Japanese used car to Uganda through Kenya with BE FORWARD.

Importing a Used Car to Uganda

Payment & Shipping Process

1. Proforma Invoice

When you begin the purchase process for your vehicle with BE FORWARD you are also given a room for negotiations, meaning that you have room to slightly lower the price if possible. Once you’re satisfied with the negotiations, a Proforma Invoice will be issued. You have to put in mind that any requested Proforma Invoice takes only 48 hrs to expire and when it expires, the invoice will be cancelled and the vehicle you’ve chosen will be returned to the stock list for another customer.

2. Booking & Payment

When you pay within 48 hours and send the original TT copy showing or having bank stamp, then it will not take more than 2 working days to acknowledge your payment. The booking team in Japan will start the booking process for your vehicle and the shipping date will be sent to you upon confirmation. Conveniently, BE FORWARD provides all the updates for your vehicles to your CAP page where you can be updated on the movement of the vessel to your port of destination. While I live and work in Kenya the Toyota Mark II, was the car I bought for my regular customer across the border who is staying in Uganda.

Looking for even more information on Japanese car import duties to Uganda, clearing and forwarding, delivery details, and more? Visit BE FORWARD Uganda!

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Necessary Documents

Log Book Processing

For customers in Uganda, when processing to get a log book the following documents should be availed:

  • Original bill of lading
  • Export certificate
  • Any other useful documents provided

It’s important to note that the name indicated on the bill of lading should match with the name under your Tax Identification Number (TIN). If  the name on the documents does not match the name on your TIN, then delays in the clearing process in Uganda will be experienced. For customers in Kenya, the year of manufacture of the vehicle is really important. Any vehicles below or above the given year stated within official documents will cause problems with its delivery.

Purchase Documents

The purchase documents are usually sent within three to five days via DHL to the delivery address given, which depending on your choice is the consignee details or details of a third party. A tracking number is also provided on delivery, allowing you to monitor your parcels whereabouts.

The documents sent should be original and include:

  • Bill of lading (two copies)
  • Export certificate
  • Copy of invoice
  • EAA if available etc.
  • Any other requested documentation

Uganda Import Tax Calculator

In order to calculate the total payment, the value (given by the revenue, current currency rate, and other taxes [including import duty, VAT, withholding tax, environmental levy, infrastructure, registration fee, etc.]) need to be considered.

VALUE x RATE x 105% + 1,253,000 (including other taxes)

Value (2,550.36)  x   rate (1 dollar/shs 3,380 (Ushs) x 105%

        2,550.36 x 3,380 x 105% +1,253,000

        (2,550.36×3,380)  X  ( 105%) + (1,253,000 ugx )

         (  8,620,216.8   )  x  (105%) + (1,253,000 ugx)

          = 905,122.8 + 1,253,000

TOTAL TAXES =10,304,228 in Ugandan currency


When importing your vehicle there are not any additional expenses on top of the Cost of Insurance Freight (CIF) to Mombasa agreed upon at the time you bargained for the price, and the arrival date of the vessel carrying your vehicle is always showed on the  Car Arrival Progress (CAP) page. When the vessel arrives at the port, it will dock and be ready for the unloading of vehicles. The costs incurred when the vehicle has reached Mombasa Port are Port Authority charges, and are based on M3/weight of the unit according to the Kenya port authority in Mombasa.

Upon arrival at the border the clearing process will be undertaken, whereby things like bond cancellation can be requested if the vehicle is meant for the tax to be paid in Uganda. This in particular will involve some additional expenses including the bond cancellation fee, insurance stickers, and road usage license.

Ready to find the perfect Japanese used car for you? Click below to browse BE FORWARD’s extensive stocklist of vehicles ready to be imported to Uganda now!


Delivery & Forwarding

Although you have the option of picking up your vehicle at the port yourself, for an additional cost you can have it delivered to you using BE FORWARD’s city delivery services. Personally, I often recommend others to use city delivery services to have their vehicle delivered to their respective destination, as you will not have to worry of any possible mechanical problems and other things like theft and missing parts before it reaches the final destination.

If any damage or loss occurs to your vehicle, the city delivery service will be held responsible for it. Also, if your car breaks down, they will repair it at no extra cost on top of what you have already paid for the delivery. As I share my experience of four years in the car business working closely with BE FORWARD for my clients and myself, I also want to take the opportunity to commend them for being the number one Japanese used car exporter I have ever worked with. Thank you very much BE FORWARD! Uganda supports you, and you support us.

This article is written by BE FORWARD Supporters ID 202339 BARASA OLURU PROTUS in Kenya from his experience to support for importing used car from Japan to Uganda. What is BE FORWARD Supporters? Click here to join!

30 thoughts on “How to Import a Car to Uganda: VAT, Duties & Delivery (Updated for 2018)”

  1. Hello I wud like to know when I’ve imported a vehicle from Japan through Mombasa going taking it to Uganda ,still Kenya will charge me on entering Uganda ,or in transit ?

  2. Very great job done by your company,how much will i cost to import my car mistubish patrol 2015 model to kampala,uganda

  3. Import Duty, Value Added Tax (VAT), withholding taxes, environmental levy, registration fee, infrastructure fee, etc.) Al this short of determination are normal My question is URA has different estimating value of vehicles different from the cost in the pro- invoice from Be-forward for a specific model?
    Sometimes we found ourselves budgeting for underestimate of the money keeping in mind that my unit cost me $10,000 I will the pay total TAXE $10,500 and thing turn the other way round, this can be a very cataclysmic in our financial plan that will really lead one to tense expectation on an individual ..

  4. can you please avail us the years that are permitted now to be important-ed in Uganda are cars below what year can cause some problems when clearing. Thank you


  6. Cost of moving Mitsubishi outlander 2007,from mombasa to Uganda and clearly pay taxes in Uganda fully to drive home.

  7. I want to know how much is total clearance cost in Uganda if I bought canter truck that cost USD 9600 from Japan used car.

  8. I would like to purchase Toyota premio mark x double exhaust model 2015 from Dubai to Uganda, how much will I use my car to reach destination


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