UGANDA – Ugandan sugar millers can finally breathe a sigh of relief following the lifting of the ban on Ugandan Sugar imports by Kenyan authorities.
According to a statement by Uganda’s deputy secretary to the Treasury, Patrick Ocailap, the decision to lift the ban was reached following intense deliberation between authorities from the Kenya and Uganda.
Following the ban lift , Ugandan Sugar millers can now annually export up to 90,000 tonnes of refined sugar to Kenya duty-free on condition of submission of proof that the sugar originated from the country.
According to Ocailap, the Kenyan government has agreed with immediate effect to allow 20,000 metric tonnes of Ugandan sugar into their country and the rest will be cleared following a verification process.
It was also agreed that the Kenyan government would immediately post trade facilitation officers within Uganda to gather information, monitor, and confirm that Ugandan exports into Kenya are wholly obtained from Ugandan factories.
Uganda’s government was also officially tasked to notify Kenya of its decision to abolish bonded warehousing of sugar and provide verifiable evidence that would help in reducing smuggling and re-bagging of non-originated sugar.
Kenya’s agriculture ministry through its Agriculture and Food Authority would fully audit the register of permit holders with a view to establishing the fully authorised import/trade permits and weed out the inappropriate ones by the end of December 2020.
The Kenya government also agreed to send a bilateral sugar verification mission to Uganda before the end of January 2021 and the mission would be fully facilitated by the government of Uganda.
On the issue of permits, Ocailap said once the cleaning of the permit register was sorted, any sugar imported through Uganda from outside East Africa must pay the full taxes at the coast of Mombasa.
He noted that this new sugar trade development would spur growth in the economy of Uganda and would further strengthen the relationship between Kenya and Uganda.
President Museveni has thanked the Kenyan government for the gesture, saying it would boost the prosperity of Ugandans adding that it the gesture “cements our spirit of East African integration.”
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