Kenya gives Uganda, Tanzania one month ultimatum in row over sweets

The two countries slapped a 25 per cent import duty on Kenyan confectionery earlier in the year

Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo said Kenya will take the decision once revenue and standards bodies from both countries make separate visits to Kenyan factories from June 11.

“A decision will be made by June 30 and communication will be made by the East African Community (EAC) secretariat on the findings of that verification. But we don’t want the verification process to be a moving the goal posts exercise," Mr Kiptoo said.

The officials will investigate availability of stocks of duty-free raw sugar shipped into the country under the one-year zero-rate duty remission scheme that Kenya sought from the EAC secretariat last July.

Import duty

Tanzania and Uganda slapped a 25 per cent import duty on Kenyan confectionery, juice, ice cream and chewing gum earlier in the year, claiming use of zero-rated industrial sugar imports.

The verification process will also extend to factories making other products such as cement, lubricants, cosmetics and wooden pallets which have also had difficulties gaining free access into Tanzania.

Uganda and Tanzania have accused Kenyan manufacturers of tilting competition in their favour by using industrial sugar imported under a 10 per cent duty remission scheme.

But the firms have, on their part, faulted the two countries of using the customs taxes to restrict trade in East Africa.

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