The UK has demanded that its exports to Kenya be exempted from the newly raised East African Community (EAC) tax charges that took effect on July 1. This is now a big dilemma for Nairobi, which is bound by the regional bloc’s decisions.
Trade Principal Secretary Johnson Weru said the UK demands that Kenya abide by the provisions of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed between the two nations. In a deal struck on May 5, 2022, by the Partner States of the EAC, the Common External Tariff (CET) for imports entering the bloc has been raised by up to 35 per cent from July 1.
The levy is imposed on imported finished products from non-member States in a strategy to stimulate local industry and production.
Weru said the UK had sought assurance “that the EAC-CET 2022 will not apply to them on the basis of the standstill provisions of the Kenya-UK EPA, which entered into force prior to the amendment. This presents a challenge to the implementation of the new CET to ongoing trade agreements.”