New levies on im­ports, ex­ports slow down trade

The Star (Kenya) - - News Business -

CYN­THIA ILAKO/ The in­tro­duc­tion of new du­ties and levies on im­ports and ex­ports has slowed down con­tainer­ised trade along the East Africa’s North­ern cor­ri­dor, a trade re­port by ship­ping gi­ant Maersk Group states.

The re­port shows the north­ern cor­ri­dor com­pris­ing Kenya, Uganda, South Su­dan and parts of Rwanda recorded a three per cent growth in ex­ports, while im­ports rose two per cent year-on-year in Septem­ber.

“Im­ports were sti­fled by in­tro­duc­tion of new du­ties and levies on some of the im­port com­modi­ties such as used cloth­ing, as well as new reg­u­la­tions on auto and pa­per im­ports into Kenya,” head of Saf­ma­rine East Africa Pu­rity Ka­rau said.

The drop in trade was pro­pelled by a 13 per cent and 9 per cent de­cline in ex­ports and im­ports re­spec­tively, along the Cen­tral Cor­ri­dor (Tan­za­nia, Bu­rundi, Zam­bia, Malawi, DRC and parts of Rwanda). The sharp de­cline in im­ports and ex­ports on the cen­tral cor­ri­dor was largely fu­elled by the fall in com­mod­ity prices.

“Also the fact that con­tainer­ised vol­umes from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, in­clud­ing Zam­bia and Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo, which used to pass through the Dar es Salaam port, moved out via other gate­way ports like Dur­ban in South Africa and Walvis Bay in Namibia,” Maersk line East­ern Africa trade man­ager Chuk­wuma Mokwe said.

The re­port in­di­cates ex­port growth was largely driven by tea, whose ship­ments grew by 43 per cent in the first nine months, helped by a slight weak­en­ing of the shilling against the US dol­lar.

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