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East Africa Court of Justice halts implementation of 25% duty on glass imports imposed by Kenya

Tanzanian glass container manufacturer, Kioo Limited breaths a sigh of relief following the East Africa Court of Justice (EACJ) halting the implementation of the 25 percent excise duty on imported glass bottles into Kenya from the other East Africa Community (EAC).

In March 2020, Kenya amended its Excise Duty Act 2015 by imposing a 25 percent duty on imported glass bottles, excluding packages for pharmaceutical products.

Kioo Ltd challenged the decision in the EACJ, arguing that the amendment would discriminate against glass products manufactured in the other EAC partner states and give preferential treatment to locally-manufactured glass bottles in Kenya which are not subject to excise duty.

“This ruling is expected to give a reprieve to other companies importing glass into Kenya from the EAC, as we wait for final determination of the matter.”

Faith Macharia – lawyer representing the Kioo Ltd at the EACJ

In the application, the company said imposition of the excise duty was a beach of various provisions of the EAC Treaty, the Customs Union Protocol as well as the Common Market Protocol.

The regional court granted an interim order to prohibit the government of Kenya from implementing the amendment.

“Imposition of excise duty on your products meant that glass products from Tanzania became more expensive compared to similar products that are locally manufactured in Kenya – and, therefore, Kenyan companies refrain from importing glass products from Tanzanian companies, or are imported at a higher landed cost, which has a direct impact on their cost of doing business in Kenya,” the Court stated.



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