Kenya progress toward ratification of EPA

Kenya is progressing toward ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe ahead of the December deadline.

Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo says a cabinet memorandum on the draft trade deal has been prepared and will be tabled any time for approval. This will open the way for the discussion of the trade deal on the floor of the House where it will be ratified, one of the key conditions set by the European Union to allow Kenya’s horticultural produce to continue enjoying duty free access to the lucrative market.

“Most of the things in the draft deal have been dealt with and we expect it to be ratified by parliament in June,” said Dr Kiptoo.

Dr Kiptoo noted the draft trade deal will be submitted to the EU once it has been ratified by parliament, for further negotiations.

The PS said other East African member states are also working on the same and are expected to complete on their draft deal within the same time as Kenya. EAC states are expected to submit the deal as a block.

EPA gives preferential reciprocal access to a range of Kenyan agricultural goods and services to the European market making the produce competitive in the EU market.

Failure to ratify will imply that Kenya will have to compete with other produce from other parts of the world without duty exemption.

Last year EU expressed optimism that EAC, and in particular Kenya will have ratified the trade deal ahead of the deadline in order to save Kenya’s horticulture industry.

In 2014, Kenya and other EAC partners failed to conclude the EPA negotiations on time, a move that temporarily saw the country pay Sh100 million a week in taxes as they were blocked from using the preferential terms exempting them from duty free access to EU market.The new taxes made Kenyan goods more expensive to EU citizens.


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