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Money and duty free for Uganda

Currency and Money

Currency information

The local currency is the Uganda Shilling (UGX). Notes are in denominations of UGX50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000. Coins are in denominations of UGX500, 200, 100, 50 and 10 (rarely used). However, UGX1,000 notes are soon to be replaced by coins. Try not to accept very old or damaged notes where possible and any series of UGX from 1987, as most places will refuse to take them.

The US dollar, euro and pound sterling are all recognised currencies in Uganda, and both euros and dollars are now widely accepted for cash payments. Other international currencies may also be accepted in some places in the major cities, although visitors may struggle with other currencies in smaller towns.

Credit cards

American Express, Discover Cards and MasterCard are rarely accepted, except in a few spots. Visa cards are readily accepted. Some large hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and shops in urban areas accept credit cards.

ATM

ATMs are available in the larger cities.

Travellers cheques

Traveller's cheques are not widely accepted outside Kampala. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling. It is advised that travellers bring sufficient US dollars in cash in case of emergencies. Higher denomination bills usually give a better exchange rate than smaller notes. If you have to use a traveller’s cheque it is best to use American Express ones only.

Banking hours

Generally Mon-Fri 0830-1400, Sat 0900-1200. Forex bureaux are open until 1700 and able to do electronic transfers to and from overseas.

Currency restrictions

The import and export of local currency is prohibited. Import of foreign currency is unlimited if declared upon arrival. Export of foreign currency must not exceed the amount declared upon arrival.

Currency exchange

Foreign currency may be exchanged at the Central Bank, commercial banks and foreign exchange bureaux. Be aware that US dollar notes from before 2006 will not be accepted for exchange.

Uganda duty free

Overview

The following items may be imported into Uganda by visitors over 18 years without incurring customs duty:

• 250g of tobacco products.
• 1L of spirits (including liquors) or 2L of wine.
• 500ml of perfume and eau de toilette, of which up to 250ml may be perfume.
• Goods up to the value of US$500 (returning residents).

Banned Imports

Narcotics, pornography, used underwear, used computers and appliances, counterfeit items, cultural artefacts and explosives are not permitted. Some medication may also be restricted; check before you travel.

You must obtain a permit to import hunting weapons, live animals, fruit, flowers, cuttings or seeds.

Banned Exports

A special permit is required to export game trophies.