In Summary
  • A bill to set up an independent agency to rid its market of cheap imports sailed through the second reading last week.
  • Local manufacturers have cited increased dumping of cheap imports into the market as a major reason for their slow growth.
  • The move to set up the agency comes as Kenya continues to lobby its east African neighbours to ratify the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union.

Kenya is on course to set up an independent agency to rid its market of cheap imports after Parliament agreed on the legal framework last week.

The Kenya Trade Remedies Agency (KTRA) proposed in a Bill, which sailed through the second reading last week, will monitor dumping of subsidised goods in the country.

At the moment, the role is shared between the Kenya Bureau of Standards and the Kenya Revenue Authority.

“There is established an agency to investigate and evaluate allegation of dumping and subsidisation of imports,” reads the Kenya Trade Remedies Bill, 2017 sponsored by Ugenya MP David Ochieng.

The agency to be run by a board headed by a chairperson appointed by the President and a secretariat headed by an executive director, is also tasked with evaluating requests for application of safety measures on any shipments into the country.

Local manufacturers have cited increased dumping of cheap imports into the market as a major reason for their slow growth.

The move to set up the agency comes as Kenya continues to lobby its east African neighbours to ratify the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union.

EPAs are expected to open Kenyan market to a wide range of EU products, handing the KTRA a special task of locking out the subsidised items.

Once set up, the KTRA will, in partnership with the police, investigate suspected dumping and report to the Cabinet Secretary in charge of international trade imports being offered for sale at rates below normal market prices.

In case of dumped goods, the Bill proposes an anti-dumping duty in amount equal to or less than the margin of dumping or less. A trader faces a Sh5 million fine for failure to attend summons by KTRA to respond to anti-dumping claims.

For subsidised goods, the Bill states, a countervailing duty in an amount equal to or less than amount of subsidy on imports will be imposed.