Following the May 5 decision by East African Community Finance ministers to adopt a 35 percent rate for the fourth band of the region’s common external tariff (CET), member countries are working to identify, review and impose new taxes on imported goods to protect local industries.
The new tax whose implementation starts from July 1 will affect commodities such as iron, steel, dairy and meat products.
Other affected imports are cereals, cotton, textiles, edible oils, beverages and spirits.
The CET’s four bands include one for raw materials, which attract zero percent tax, intermediate goods that attract 10 percent tax; secondary intermediate goods charged at 25 percent tax and finished goods, the fourth band, which now stands at 35 percent.
“The process of identifying which products fall in the fourth band is now complete. Most of the products under this band are readily available in the region and, therefore, will attract more tax to import,” said Betty Maina, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Industrialisation and Enterprise Development.
Finished goods that cannot be produced in the region have been allocated the third band, she added.
Source: The East African