Tanzania has refused to give Kenyan sweets preferential treatment after objecting to Kenya’s industrial sugar review report.
Instead, the government of President Samia Suluhu has requested another review in order to the taxable status of. to determine Kenyan confectionery.
This is even happening while the two East African neighbors are working to restart mutual cooperation after years of trade and diplomatic relations.
In 2018, Tanzania imposed one 25 percent import duty on Kenyan confectionery, including juice, ice cream, chocolate, candy and chewing gum, claiming Kenya used tax-exempt industrial sugar imports to make them (EAC) rules of origin in contravention of the East African Community.
The East African learned that Tanzania presented its case on the blatant anomalies in the verification report during the fifth bilateral meeting between the two countries in Arusha last month (May).
Pr esidential Directive
The meeting followed a directive from the heads of state of the countries at the beginning of May calling on the ministers for trade and EAC affairs of both countries n To address non-tariff trade barriers (NTBs) and other related barriers and eliminate trade and investment between them.
According to a section of the report on the deliberations seen by The EastAfrica, both Kenya and Tanzania have agreed to conduct another review of Kenya’s industrial sugar within a month, and the EAC Secretariat will transmit the results of the review within a week of completion.
The results of the review mission will help Tanzania decide whether to apply the import duty 25 percent on Kenyan confectionery to be abolished in 2018.
“Also, Tanzania found that the review report contained some contradicting information, indicating in some areas that Kenya was not importing industrial sugar while in other areas the import figures are given “, ac according to the report.
” Also sweat The report is based on the recommendation whether the confectioners enjoyed duty-free sugar or not. Therefore, the government of Tanzania is of the opinion that the review should be carried out again to resolve the inconsistency in the report. “
Kenya informed the meeting that the EAC had carried out a review mission to Tanzania attended, and as a result of the review, it was found that no industrial sugar was used in its manufacture.
At the November 2018 EAC Sector Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) meeting, Tanzania expressed reservations about the results of the Kenyan industrial sugar review report, which states that the results are inconsistent.
As a result, Tanzania prepared another review to avoid doubts. Then Kenya made it clear that its annual industrial sugar requirement is 160,000 metric tons and “we never exceeded that” and that all of the industrial sugar imported in 2017/2018 was fully used.
Kenya also argued that the 4,050 tons that are flagged in the verification report were imported by the United Nations World Food Program for relief purposes.
During the bilateral meeting in May, Kenya asked Tanzania to bring its confectionery products to market as those products were not in Duty -free sugar.
Kenya’s Trade and Industry Minister Johnson Weru told The EastAfrican last week that the political will to lift customs duties on Kenyan confectionery was there, but “When” is about tax problems that do not arise immediately. ”
Kenya and Tanzania are pushing to resolve trade disputes that require the flow of goods across common borders all.
During the bilateral meeting co-chaired by the Tanzanian Minister for Industry and T According to Prof. Kitila Mkumbo and his Kenyan counterpart Betty Maina, the trade officials solved 30 of the 64 disputed problems and made decisions about how to deal with them with the remaining 34 problems.
Among the problems Tanzania resolved are making it easier to process soft drinks such as juices and removing inspection fees for processed products with standardization marks, including wheat flour.
The parties agreed also, to facilitate the importation of corn into Kenya and to waive the excise duty on glass products from Tanzania. The parties agreed to give Kenyan cement products preferential treatment.
According to the joint announcement published after the meeting, the parties also agreed to meet within the next three months to assess the degree of implementation.
This story was first published in the East African print version on June 5th.