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Thursday, 01 September 2016

Kenya in Last Push to Maintain Duty Free EU Market Access Before Deadline

Kenya’s Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed is leading a government delegation to Brussels to make a bid for the country to maintain duty free market access to the European Union (EU). This is after some members of the East African Community (EAC) Partner States failed to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on July 18, 2016 due to circumstances that they were facing. “This development poses a great risk to Kenya unless it is addressed before the deadline that the EU put for EAC to sign and ratify the EPA in order for EAC products to continue accessing the EU market on duty free quota basis”, said CS Mohamed. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi entered a region-to-region EPA which covers trade in goods and development cooperation with the EU in October 2014. The deal is in line with the EAC Common External Tariff and bans unjustified and discriminatory restrictions on imports and exports which contribute to the EAC’s efforts to eradicate non-tariff barriers (NTBs) in intra-EAC trade. The EU-EAC EPA also supports the EAC’s ambitious regional integration project. Kenya’s government has held several unsuccessful high-level bilateral consultations with EAC Partner States towards agreeing on alternatives for the signing of the EPA over the past three months. The pact has been ready for signing after undergoing translation into the official EU languages and Kiswahili.

Source: footprint2africa.com