Kenya’s Return of Import Fee on Uganda Eggs Sets Stage for Trade War

Kenya and Uganda are staring at a new round of trade wars after Nairobi reintroduced a tax on eggs from the neighbouring country.

Uganda says the Kenyan government is now taxing its eggs at a rate of Sh72 per tray, bringing back a levy the neighbours suspended last December following bilateral talks.

Ugandan traders have protested the move, saying, it does not augur well for trade between the two countries.

“The implementation of levies on Ugandan eggs by Kenya is a bad policy and in violation of the East African Community policy of free movement of goods and services originating from the member states,” Godfrey Oundo Ogwabe, the chairperson of Uganda National Cross Border Trade is quoted by the Daily Monitor.

Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai said the charges could be a normal levy that is imposed on imports. He said he had no specific information but that this could be the normal levy Kenya Revenue Authority imposes on imports.

The new trade tiff comes at a time when the two countries are yet to resolve a long-standing dispute on milk after Kenya barred the neighbouring country’s dairy products in 2019.

In the last two years, Kenya restricted the exports of poultry and dairy products from Uganda, straining the relationship between the two countries. The issue on poultry was resolved after the East African country threatened to ban Nairobi from exporting its goods to the landlocked neighbour.

Key agricultural exports to the neighbouring country from Kenya include palm oil at Sh7.2 billion in 2020, sorghum (Sh1.4 billion), vegetables (Sh311 million) and legumes (Sh200 million).

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