The Government has through the Kenya Mission to the European Union in Brussels deposited with the EU the instruments of ratification of the East African Community-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EAC-EU EPA) at the agreements section of the EU Council.
The EAC-EU EPA was ratified by Kenya Parliament on September 20th, 2016. The handing over ceremony was witnessed by the Director of Trade, Development, Horizontal Issues & Foreign Affairs Council Mme Alda Silveira Reis among other senior EU officials.
With the ratification of the Agreement, Kenya will continue to benefit from EC Market Access Regulation No 1528/2007 which governs the EU preferential market access regime for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries that have negotiated Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU.
Negotiations of the EAC-EU EPA were concluded by both sides and the text initialed on October 14th 2014. The agreement covers trade in goods and development cooperation. It also contains extensive chapters on agriculture, fisheries and economic and development cooperation.
The agreement provides duty- and quota-free access for Kenyan and EAC products to the EU market. It also creates new regional opportunities through more flexible rules of origin and cumulation framework.
It guarantees that the EU will not apply export subsidies on products destined for the EAC market. Through the Agreement, the EAC has committed to liberalise the equivalent of 82.6 per cent of imports from the EU by value. The remainder will be progressively liberalised within 15 years from the moment the EPA enters into force.
The Agreement has inbuilt safeguards on various sensitive products. For instance, it excludes from liberalisation various agricultural products (dairy products, fruits and vegetables, fish, wines and spirits, chemicals, plastics, wood based paper, textiles and clothing, footwear, ceramic products, glassware, articles of base metal and vehicles).
The Agreement sets up an EPA Council that will address implementation issues. It will be reviewed every five years taking into account the experience acquired in its implementation.