Importers must insure goods locally before shipping - IRA

Uganda’s exports with regional market dropped in 2021 with the largest drops reported in Kenya, DR Congo and South Sudan. 

What you need to know:

  • The policy will offer protection against any possible insurable risk from warehouse-to-warehouse.

Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) has said all importers trading in cargo across borders must effective this month  pay for local marine insurance. 

Speaking during a media engagement in Entebbe, Mr Protazio Sande, the IRA director planning, research and market development, said that they were working with Uganda Revenue Authority and other stakeholders in import trade to effect local marine insurance beginning this month. 
All imports, he said, except household items and personal items, will have to be insured locally.

“This means that all importers before having their goods cleared by customs will have to show proof of insurance. Not insurance from anywhere else but insurance form a locally licensed player,” Mr Sande, noting that IRA had already created an online portal through which automatic quotations will be generated and will detail the premium the importer is required to pay after they have input what they are importing. 

The portal was launched last year to enable importers, especially shippers, pay marine insurance through locally licensed companies. 

Mr Ibrahim Kaddunabbi, the IRA chief executive officer, said local marine insurance seeks to ensure that importers are able to claim for their goods in case of eventualities. 

“If your insurer is in China and you get a problem in Malaba, how do you coordinate with a Chinese Insurance firm?” Mr Kaddunabbi wondered, noting that they were making it easy for importers to access claims. 

He said the policy will offer protection against any possible insurable risk from warehouse-to-warehouse, given that it will cover the goods from the country of origin warehouse to the warehouse in Uganda. 

Insurable risks, Mr Kaddunabbi said, have been increasing, with a number of Ugandans losing properties worth billions of shillings due to reluctance to draw out insurance covers.