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Kenya, EU Seal Trade Deal – What You Should Know

The deal guarantees immediate duty-free, quota-free access to the EU market for all Kenyan exports

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Kenya and the European Union (EU) sealed a new trade agreement in Nairobi on Monday, June 19. President William Ruto was present for the conclusion of negotiations, which featured Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria and European Commission Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis.

Most notably, the deal guarantees immediate duty-free, quota-free access to the EU market for all Kenyan exports. It also lessens restrictions on imports and exports, and eases customs restrictions.

The agreement includes safeguards on both sides “if imports under the deal disturb or threaten to disturb the economy.”

The deal notably also features a raft of provisions on sustainability and climate change, with the EU describing them as “the most ambitious sustainability provisions ever with an African country.” Among them is a commitment to implement the Paris agreement on climate change and provisions against illegal wildlife trade, logging and fishing.

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It also includes provisions on respect of workers’ rights and gender equality.

“The EU is Kenya’s first export destination and second largest trading partner, totalling €3.3 billion of trade in 2022 – an increase of 27% compared to 2018,” the EU noted. “The EPA will create even more opportunities for Kenyan businesses and exporters, as it will at once fully open the EU market for Kenyan products, and it will incentivise EU investment to Kenya thanks to increased legal certainty and stability.”

The EU noted that following conclusion of the negotiations, a process would be initiated to have the agreement ratified by member states.

“The EPA will have to go through legal revision (“legal scrubbing”) and then be translated before the Commission submits it for signature and conclusion to the Council. Once adopted by the Council, the EU and Kenya can sign the agreement. Following the signature, the text will be transmitted to the European Parliament for consent.  The parties may then decide to provisionally apply parts of the agreement, the agreement enters fully into force once Kenya and the EU member states also ratify it,” the EU noted.

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