Kenya plans to discuss export duty dispute with Zambia
Posted Friday, March 1 2013 at 02:00
Ban. Lusaka had in 2005 slapped a ban on Kenyan milk exports following a petition by the Zambian Dairy Processors Association (ZDPA), which queried standards of raw milk.
The government is planning talks with Zambia to reverse a duty on exports Lusaka has imposed in retaliation to hundreds of tonnes of sugar being denied entry into Kenya.
Trade permanent secretary Abdulrazaq Ali called for calm among traders saying the spat was short-term.
“This is a temporary challenge and we will resolve it,” Mr Ali said.
Kenya exports edible oils, margarines, iron sheets, steel pipes and products, detergents, baking powder, kitchen and table wares, spices, blankets, beauty products, toiletries, irrigation pumps, tyres, and textiles and crafts to Zambia.
Last December, sugar manufacturers from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania were forced to convene a crisis meeting at the Kenya Sugar Board offices in Nairobi when Kenya blocked sugar imports from Uganda and Tanzania from her market.
Kenya accused both countries of dumping cheap sugar suspected to have imported in excess when both countries were allowed to import tax free sugar the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) arrangement to stabilise domestic needs in 2011.
Officials in Lusaka took the drastic step on Monday amid claims that about 10 trucks carrying Zambian sugar destined for Kenya was stuck at the Namanga border for three weeks. Zambia’s Trade and Industry permanent secretary Stephen Mwansa was quoted by Xinhua News Agency.
He claimed Kenya had refused to allow the sugar entry because they believed that Zambia does not manufacture sugar, but was getting it from South Africa.
Zambia based its action on the provisions of the protocol of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) which allows retaliation against unfair practices. The two countries are both members of Comesa.
Mr Ali Wednesday did not address the specific allegations by Zambia. Three years ago, the two countries resolved a long running row that saw Kenya’s milk exports banned from the Zambian market.