An emergency extra-ordinary meeting of the Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (SCTIFI) was held in Arusha on 9 – 10 September 2014 in Arusha to address the outstanding issues in the EAC EU EPA and very importantly agree on a strategy to expedite conclusion of the negotiations following the impasse of the Kigali meeting in July.
Understanding the gravity of the subject matter of the EPA negotiations, and especially as it relates to the floriculture, Kenya Flower Council has remained engaged in the negotiations since 2004. It is in this spirit that KFC participated at the recent ministerial meeting, which was a big success in terms of forging a regional position on outstanding issues.
As a result of these achievements, the negotiations are back on track. The Government of Kenya is fully committed to concluding the pact expeditiously. In brief, in Arusha, the EAC countries reached a consensus, with the exception of Tanzania and Burundi, who were unable to participate because of the short notice for the emergency meeting, on all the below five areas:
1 Duties and Taxes on Exports
2 Domestic Policy Measures
3 Relations to Cotonou Agreement
4 Good Governance in Taxes
5 Consequences from other Custom Union Agreement concluded with EU
Going forward, the outcome of the meeting, which also includes the road map for conclusion of the negotiations by 30th September 2014, will be tabled at the meeting of the EAC Council on 20th September 2014 for noting and direction towards conclusion of the negotiations and initialing the EPA before 30th September 2014.
Given this status;
- Initialing of the EPA by 30 September 2014 will play a key role in the reintegration of Kenya and other EAC Partner States in the Market Access Regulation (MAR) 1528 of December 2007.
- The Government is working round the clock to have Kenya and other EAC Partner States reinstated in the MAR on the basis of the initialed EPA. If this effort bares fruits before 30th September 2014, Kenya will continue exporting to the EU market on duty free basis.
- If current efforts by the Government fail to have Kenya reintegrated by 30th September 2014, it means that Kenya will start trading with the EU on GSP basis with effect from 1st October 2014, where most of Kenyan products will start attracting import tariff.
- The period under which Kenya will continue trading under GSP, if the effort for reintegration into MAR by 30 September fails will hopefully be short. It is therefore important that the EPA be initialed by 30th September to ensure that the period of GSP trading arrangement is as short as possible.
Further on this information kindly follow the link below for the table of ariffs provided by the Union Fleurs, who have been an invaluable ear on the European ground for KFC. Table of tarrifs