Kenyan goods face hurdles, after fresh deal with Tanzania

A trade spat between Kenya and Tanzania that seemed to have been resolved remains.

The East African neighbours inked a fresh pact last Sunday in a deal that was supposed to lift restrictions Kenya had imposed on Tanzanian wheat flour and liquefied petroleum gas. Tanzania was expected to remove its blockade of Kenyan milk, milk products, and cigarettes.

However Kenyan Permanent Secretary in charge of trade is quoted by local media saying he could not get Dar es Salam authorities for explanations on Tanzania’s introduction of fresh hurdles for Kenyan goods.

“We were told to export and see whether the restrictions still exist. We have just done that and found that some products such as margarine, ice cream and tobacco can still not access the Tanzanian market,” Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) chief executive Phyllis Wakiaga said.

Margarine, Ice cream and tobacco are some of the goods facing hurdles in accessing the Tanzanian market.

The Business Daily reports that Tanzania is loading extra conditions, including a requirement that the products be labelled in Kiswahili and clearance by multiple standardisation authorities on the Kenyan products already certified by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

In addition to Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), Dar also wants Kenyan importers to get clearance from the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) — a demand that is costing traders more time and money.