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Kenya: Exporters Welcome Last Minute EU Agreement

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Kenya: Exporters Welcome Last Minute EU Agreement

Exporters in Kenya have welcomed the much anticipated signing of the controversial Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) trade pact between the East African Community (EAC) and the European Union, (EU). While announcing the landmark deal's signing, the Kenya government disclosed last week on Tuesday that the three areas that remained outstanding namely: export taxes, export subsidies and relationship between Cotonou agreement and EPAs were all agreed upon in favour of Kenya. The areas covered in the agreement include; trade in goods, customs and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, agriculture, fisheries, economic and development cooperation as well as institutional arrangement, dispute settlement and final provision.

This now sets off the process of reinstating Kenya to the Market Access Regulation which facilitates duty free and quota free market access of Kenya's exports to the EU. Because of the delay in concluding the EPAs, Kenyan firms will unfortunately have to pay taxes for still another three to six months before the full legal processes for reinstatement into the duty free schedule can be concluded. "Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International trade is pleased to announce that negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union were today finalized and signed in Brussels, Belgium," said a statement from the ministry of foreign affairs and international trade, adding that the successful conclusion of the negotiations will enable Kenya to continue enjoying duty free, quarter free access to the European market.

Source: allafrica.com