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Agro-sectors at risk of EU taxes

18 February 2014, 10:25

Nairobi - Kenya's horticultural and floricultural sectors risk an imposition of taxes on all exports to the European Union member countries if the country does not sign and ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) before October this year.

Tax will automatically start applying to all exports from Kenya into the 28 member states of the (EU) making a development which is likely to make trade uncompetitive.

Currently, the bulk of exports which include flowers, French beans, peas and fruits are exported to Europe duty free and quota free.

“One thing I regret from negotiations is that we have lost momentum at the moment. We need to regain momentum because we are in overtime and it would be disastrous to see a disruption in trade flows by the time we come closer to the 1st of October 2014,” said Lodewijk Briet, EU Ambassador to Kenya.

While Kenyan negotiators have since 2007 sought to cushion the market against an influx of tax free goods from Europe under the EPA proposals, Europe is now becoming uneasy with alien invasion in the region.

Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda initiated a framework EPA, mainly dealing with trade in goods, in November 2007.

The countries are now negotiating a comprehensive regional EPA.

The framework agreement has not been signed or ratified.

– CAJ News

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