Kenya has protested to Kampala over levies charged on poultry products exported to Uganda, citing a lack of a level playing field as Nairobi does not impose similar taxes.
According to the State Department of Livestock, Uganda levies goods from Kenya 18 percent in value-added tax (VAT), a six percent withholding tax and a one percent railway levy.
A Kenyan delegation is currently in Uganda following up on the implementation of the bilateral talks between the two countries in March held in Nairobi.
“We are following up on these levies that have been imposed on our poultry products, it is making our goods uncompetitive in the Ugandan market and there is need to abolish them,” said Livestock PS Harry Kimutai.
The PS, who is part of the delegation in Uganda, said Kenya has discussed the matter with the Ministry of Trade to help find a lasting solution.
“Given that this is a trade issue, we have requested our counterparts in the ministry to negotiate on our behalf and come with a remedy in accordance with the East African Community Protocol,” said Mr Kimutai.
Last week, Trade Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said there was a need to level the playing field by ensuring that Kenyan goods are not charged extra levies in the spirit of EAC protocol.
“Some of our goods are being charged extra levies and this goes against the rules of EAC. We need to level the playing field,” said the Cabinet Secretary in a recent interview.
The Kenyan delegation is in Uganda to also follow up on the increased volumes of milk coming from the landlocked neighbour, which has impacted negatively on local producers.
The technical officers from the ministries of Agriculture and Trade left for Uganda on Monday last week for a verification mission that will unravel the mystery of high volumes of milk coming in from the country.
Numbers from the Kenya Dairy Board presented to the parliamentary Committee on Agriculture a fortnight ago indicated the volume of milk imports from Uganda have been surging in the last three years.
Data showed that milk imported from EAC, with the most volumes coming from Uganda, hit 110.7 million litres between January and September from 3.0 million litres in 2016.