Oxygen Gas Cylinders Are Tax Free. – URA Responds To Allegations High Taxes Causing Oxygen Scarcity.
Written by Derrick Asaba on June 22, 2021
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has come out and watered down all circulations around the tax treatment of oxygen gas cylinders in media to be false saying that the cylinders in question are tax exempted.
This clarification was made in a press release dated June 21 by the Acting Assistant Commissioner, Public and Corporate Affairs at URA, Ian Rumanyika.
Rumanyika noted that medical oxygen is essential medicine in the treatment of COVID-19 and oxygen gas cylinders/bottles or tanks are a known method used for the conveyance of oxygen to patients.
To explain this further, Rumanyika refers to the amended 5th Schedule of the East African Community Customs Management Act, Item 20, which caters for COVID-19 supplies. More specifically, item 20 Part B: General Exemptions, item ii -1(e),of the 5th Schedule that was redesigned to read as follows;
“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” Rumanyika referred.
Based on this, Rumanyika added that oxygen gas cylinders are considered an essential tool used in diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and management of the COVID-19 pandemic and are therefore exempted from all taxes in line with the 5th Schedule of the East African Community Customs Management Act (EAC CMA).
Medical oxygen gas cylinders are described as pressure vessels used to store gases above atmospheric pressure. High-pressure oxygen gas cylinders are also often called bottles according to Rumanyika.
Since the second wave of COVID-19 hit Uganda, a number of hospitals both private and public has reported shortage of oxygen which in turn has been the major underlying reason of delivery of satisfactory medical services to the critically I’ll COVID-19 patients.
To this effect, different organizations and individuals have come up to donate oxygen gas cylinders which after reception of this information, tax exemption, gives more hope for further donations and support to save lives.