Bridging the trade gab between Kenya and Tanzania, Cabinet Secretaries from the two countries held bilateral meeting to address issues affecting trade in the both countries.
The meeting was held pursuant to the directive by Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan during the State visit of to the Republic of Kenya.
“The meeting reviewed progress made in implementing decisions from previous bilateral meeting and underscored the importance of ensuring they comply with the commitments made between the two countries,” read the joint communique.
During the meeting, 64 issues were handled out of which 30 issues were resolved and decisions have been made on how to resolve the remaining 34.
Some of the issues resolved on the side of Tanzania include: facilitating clearance of soft drinks such as juices, removal of inspection fees for processed products with standardization mark including wheat flour; parties agreed to facilitate maize entry to Kenya, as well as to waive the excise duty for glass products from Tanzania.
On Kenya’s part, matters resolved included; granting cement products preferential treatment.
According to the joint communique, Tanzania has started implementing the Single Window System which has reduced delays in clearance of pineapple juices produced in Kenya.
“Streamlined some of the standards regulating Institutions such as TBS and TFDA and agreed to expedite verification and clearance of perishable goods in accordance to EAC CMA as well as increased the validity period of permits for veterinary products from 15 to 30 days,” stated the communique.
The meeting directed Kenya Revenue Authority and Tanzania Revenue Authority to explore the possibilities of granting preferential access to cigarettes made in Kenya tobacco sourced from the United Republic of Tanzania and report back in the next bilateral meeting.
The two countries agreed to establish a Permanent Implementation Committee to monitor implementation of decisions agreed upon in the bilateral
“To strengthen bilateral engagement whereby they will be held biannually at Ministerial level, quarterly at senior officials and technical level,” the two countries agreed.
“To champion the process of harmonization of domestic taxes, levies and fees in the EAC region. To continue following procedures stipulated in the EAC Customs
Management Act. 2004 and SQMT Act. 2006 with respect to inspection and clearance of goods.”
They agreed to ensure compliance with the Rules of Origin to be upheld and preferential treatment to be accorded to products that qualify, and in case of doubt to expedite the process of verification and implementation of the recommendation.
To enhance the process of clearance of goods, it was agreed that Single Customs Territory to be fully implemented by both parties; Parties agreed to recognize products with standardization mark as per SQMT Act. 2006 framework on mutual recognition.
“Regulatory Agencies to engage and address administrative/operational issues whenever they arise before they are brought to bilateral meetings. Regulatory Agencies to meet ahead of quarterly bilateral meetings,” read the communique.
“Chiefs of Immigration Services together with Commissioners for Labour from the two countries agreed to convene a meeting to consider Immigration and Labour issues.”
On Covid-19, a dedicated meeting of Ministers responsible for Health to meet within 14 days to resolve issue related to Covid-19.
To direct border agencies to implement immediately issues which have been resolved.
Further the parties agreed to meet in the next 90 days to assess the level of the
In attendance from Kenya were: Amb. Johnson Weru, Principal Secretary, State Department for Trade and Enterprise Development; Prof, Hamadi Boga, CBS, Principal Secretary, State Department for Crops Development and Agricultural Research; Mr. Harry Kimutai, CBS, Principal Secretary, State Department for Livestock; Safina Kwekwe Tsungu, CBS, Principal Secretary, State Department for Tourism; Solomon Kitungu, CBS, Principal Secretary, State Department for Transport; Dr. Kevit Desai, CBS, Principal Secretary, State Department for East African Community Affairs; Amb. Dan M. Kazungu, High Commissioner of the Republic of Kenya to the Republic of Tanzania: Amb. Nyambura Kamau, representing Principal Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Dr. Eddyson Nyale, OGW, representing the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Interior.
In attendance from Tanzania were: Geoffrey I. Mwambe, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office (Investment); Prof. Adolf Mkenda, Minister for Agriculture; Dr. Dorothy Gwajima, Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children; Hon. Omari Said Shaaban, Minister for Trade and Industrial Development (Zanzibar); Exaud Kigahe, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Industry and Trade; Geofrey Kasekenya Deputy Minister for Works and Transport and other government officials.