Poultry farmers now want the Ministry of Trade to intervene on tariffs charged by the Ugandan government on chicken meat.
Uganda Revenue Authority has in the past two years charged, Kenyan Chicken meat export a 25 percent of taxes – 18 percent of VAT, 1 percent of Railway development levy, and 6 percent Withholding Tax.
“We want the government to review the taxes charged by our neighbors, both Uganda and Tanzania. Our proposal for the government is to impose the tax or talk to the Ugandan government to waive 19 percent tax on VAT and Railway Development Levy,” argued Monica Wanjiru, the President of Federation of Kenya Poultry Farmers (FKPF).
The taxes charged by Uganda, Wanjiru argued, violates World Trade Organization 1st principles of Non-Discrimination of neighboring goods.
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Wanjiru added that “Tanzania has also imposed stringent requirements for compliance from the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) which many players in the poultry sector have seen as deliberate efforts to bar them from accessing the market. Worth noting is the fact that Tanzania with effect from 2016 banned the importation of poultry and poultry products into the country.”
“We, therefore, cannot overemphasize the vulnerability of the Kenyan poultry industry from the regional attack. The most recent impact of such actions by Tanzania culminated in the 2018 burning of 6,400 chicks imported into Tanzania from Kenya for being deemed non-compliant to the local poultry guidelines at a great loss to the importer.”
In 2017 Kenya had banned the importation of poultry products due to an outbreak of the Avian Influenza Virus. Uganda retaliated by banning the importation of Kenyan Poultry products into their country. Upon the resolution of the outbreak, the countries agreed to allow the resumption in the trade of poultry products.
The poultry industry is an important component of the livestock sub-sector, which accounts for about 10 percent of national GDP. It contributes about 0.7 per cent of national GDP, while at the same time it is a major source of employment, with an estimated 3 million people deriving their livelihood and income from poultry farming, processing, and related activities. It also employs veterinarians, researchers, and extension officers.
In a joint meeting between the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Trade and Industry earlier in the year, Dr. Chris Kiptoo the then Principal Secretary in the Trade Department said that the taxes charged by Uganda were against the EAC Principal. “Uganda should not be charging chicken meat taxes because we don’t charge them. They can apply local taxes as withholding taxes, but not VAT and Railway Development Levy,” Dr Kiptoo told a meeting attended by Livestock stakeholders.
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