Kenya gives Tanzania 30 day ultimatum to allow Kenyan confectionery products or face retaliatory treatment

Tanzanian authorities have now up to the end of the month to visit the Kenyan firms to find out if imported industrial sugar is being used in the products at the centre of the trade spat.

  • Kenya has issued Tanzania with a 30-day ultimatum to allow Kenyan-made confectionery products tax-free passage.
  • This is after Tanzania and Uganda last month slapped Kenyan made sweets, juice, ice cream and chewing gum with a 25 per cent import duty citing use of imported industrial sugar.
  • Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has rejected evidence from the Kenyan Treasury indicating the share of imported sugar in the Kenya- made goods was within accepted levels.

This is after Tanzania and Uganda last month slapped Kenyan made sweets, juice, ice cream and chewing gum with a 25 per cent import duty citing use of imported industrial sugar in the goods. This is despite the Kenyan firms providing certificates of origin issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

Tanzanian authorities have now up to the end of the month to visit the Kenyan firms to find out if imported industrial sugar is being used in the products at the centre of the trade spat which remains unresolved since March.

“Tanzania Verification Mission to visit Kenya on use of duty free sugar imports on confectioneries to be completed in two weeks (May 31, 2018).

Failure to adhere will result in implementation of retaliatory measures,” said the report seen by a local daily of a presidential roundtable.

The government has requested all manufactures to comply with the Tanzanian authorities  when they pay a visit to their firms.

“All manufacturers (have been) requested to comply and co-operate with the Tanzania Verification Mission.”

The East Africa Community common market made up of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi allows free movement of locally manufactured goods within the bloc.

However, Tanzania and Uganda revenue bodies have accused Kenyan manufacturers of unfair competition by using industrial sugar imported under a 10 percent duty remission scheme.

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) said late last month while Uganda had softened her hardline stance, the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) had rejected evidence from the Kenyan Treasury indicating the share of imported sugar in the Kenya- made goods was within the levels that grant the products tax-free passage to Uganda and Tanzania.

“The denial of entry for Kenyan goods into Tanzania continues despite KRA’s intervention to clarify the matter to its Tanzanian counterpart,” the manufacturers’ lobby said on April 26.

This is not the first time, however; Kenya and Tanzania are engaging in a trade squabble.

In 2007, Kenya banned the importation of cooking gas from Tanzania, citing the need to curb the proliferation of illegal filling plants and in retaliation Tanzania banned the importation of milk from Kenya.

The trade restriction was finally lifted after months of negotiations speared by President Uhuru Kenyatta and President John Magufuli which culminated in a signing of trade truce.

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