Case Number REFERENCE NO. 7 OF 2017

This is a Reference by British American Tobacco Uganda Limited (‘the Applicant’) challenging the legality of section 2(a) and (b) of the Republic of Uganda’s Excise Duty (Amendment) Act No. 11 of 2017 for contravening various provisions of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (‘the Treaty’); the Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Customs Union (‘the Customs Union Protocol), and the Protocol on the
Establishment of the East African Community Common Market (‘the Common Market Protocol’).

The Applicant was incorporated in the Republic of Uganda in 1984 as a company limited by shares that would manufacture and otherwise deal in tobacco and tobacco products, and to date remains domiciled and operational in Uganda. It has since restructured its business operations to have its sister company in the Republic of Kenya (British American Tobacco Kenya Limited) manufacture and supply it with cigarettes for sale on the Ugandan

The Respondent is the Attorney General of Uganda and has been sued herein as the legal representative of the Republic of Uganda.

Both the Republic of Uganda and the Republic of Kenya are Partner States in the East African Community (EAC), and
signatories to the Treaty, Customs Union Protocol and Common Market Protocol.

Date filed
Keywordcommon market , Trade
Treaty Article

First Instance Judgment

VerdictIn the final result, the Reference is hereby partially allowed with the following Orders: a. A Declaration doth issue that the implementation of the provisions of section 2(a) and (b) of the Excise Duty (Amendment) Act. No. 11 of 2017, by the misconstruction and wrongful re-classification of the Applicant's cigarettes as 'imported goods', does contravene and infringe Articles 1 and 75(6) of the Treaty; Articles 1(1) and 15(1 )(a) and (2) of the Customs Union Protocol, and Article 6(1) of the Common Market Protocol b. A Declaration doth issue that the misapplication of the provisions of section 2(a) and (b) of the Excise Duty (Amendment) Act, No, 11 of 2017 by the issuance of Payment Registration Slips for additional taxes in the sum of Ushs, 325,208,0001= in respect of Applicant's cigarettes is illegal, null and void, c, The Respondent is directed: a, With immediate effect, to rescind and withdraw the Payment Registration Slips captioned C15733 (06/07/2017) and Ref, No, C17820 of 02 AUG 2017 respectively in the total sum of Ushs, 325,208,0001=, and issued against the Applicant's 1,170 packages of soft cap cigarettes under even caption and/or reference, b, To forthwith ensure the interpretation and application of Excise Dutv (Amendment) Act, No. 11 of 2017 with due regard for and in compliance with applicable Community Law, and c. To align the Ugandan tax laws with Community Law applicable to goods from EAC Partner States, d. Each Party shall bear its own costs. It is so ordered.
PDF documentDownload the decision as PDF
Date deliveredMarch 26, 2019

Appeal Judgment

PDF document
Date delivered