Kenya and Tanzania have agreed to hold a meeting from June 21 to 23 to iron out a tax dispute on wheat flour that is threatening to undermine regional integration.
The agreement was reached on the side-lines of the East African Community (EAC) Sectoral Council on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment meeting in Arusha on June 2.
This came after Kenya disregarded advice from the EAC Secretariat to allow Tanzania’s wheat flour access its market duty-free.
According to the EAC Secretariat, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda currently enjoy 10 per cent duty on importation of wheat grain from outside the region and, therefore, the preferential trade between them would not disadvantage any of the member states.
But Kenya has maintained a hard-line stance that it will not allow Tanzanian wheat flour into the country. And, should Tanzania decide to opt for a duty remission scheme, Kenya will still charge import duty to protect its wheat farmers.
This, says the secretariat, contradicts the spirit of the EAC integration.