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Egypt’s Trade minister: Crisis of Kenya imposing custom tariffs on Egypt’s exports settled

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CAIRO, Sept 21 (MENA) – Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea said Monday that the crisis of the Kenyan authorities imposing custom tariffs on Egyptian exports has come to an end, noting that the ministry’s trade representation authority has made intensive contacts with the East African Federation (EAF) to extend the exceptional period for custom exemption for Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda as well as COMESA member states till June 2021.

In a statement, Gamea said the Egyptian Trade Representation Authority has been closely following up the latest developments in the wake of imposing custom tariffs by Kenyan authorities on Egyptian imports in violation of the COMESA agreement.

She said many Kenyan companies have complained of imposing of tariffs on their exports from Cairo, leading to a halt in handling of Egyptian containers at Kenya’s Mombasa harbor.

She explained that Kenya has received an exception from EAF ministerial council to allow a comprehensive exemption on custom duties to Kenya till the implementation of a three-way free trade agreement, adding that this exemption was effective till December 2019.

Meanwhile, Head of the Trade Representation Authority Ahmed Maghawri said EAF’s last meeting in May, 2019, did not agree on an extension of any exemptions on duties, a matter which forced the Kenyan authorities to impose such tariffs. He made it clear that Egypt’s trade offices in Lusaka, Dar Es-Salam and Neirobi has followed up the situation and made diplomatic contacts to allow further exemptions according to COMESA agreement till June 2021.

He said Egypt’s exports to Kenya reached dlrs 416 million in 2019, adding that such exports include sugar, iron products, steel and iron, house appliances, plastic products, cement, cleansers and other chemical products

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