UNDER REVIEW

No final We decision on clinker import duty yet -KAM

Some firms are opposed to a proposal to review the duty chargeable on imported clinker from 10 to 25%

In Summary
  • Wakiaga said that a verification mission, spearheaded by the National Independent Clinker Verification is on.
  • Four cement manufacturers opposed to KAM's proposal have requested an urgent meeting with the National Treasury 
KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga
KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga
Image: COURTESY

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) is yet to make a stand on proposed import duty rate for clinker.

KAM chief executive officer (CEO) Phyllis Wakiaga on Wednesday said that proposed rates for the Common External Tariff (CET) by its members are still under review.

Wakiaga said that a verification mission, spearheaded by the National Independent Clinker Verification Committee, to assess the quality and quantity of locally manufactured clinker is ongoing before a final proposal is reached.

“The mission findings shall guide KAM’s final position on the East African Community  CET review and inform the association’s budget proposals for the financial year 2022 –2023,'' Wakiaga said.

The Committee consists of members from the State Department of Industrialization, Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), State Department of Mining, representatives from Cement Grinders and Clinker Manufacturers and KAM.

Four cement manufacturers have requested an urgent meeting with the National Treasury over a proposal by some manufacturers to review the duty chargeable on imported clinker from 10 per cent to 25 per cent or total ban.

Bamburi, Savannah, Ndovu, and Rai Cement factories have written to National Treasury principal secretary Julius Muia to oppose KAM's proposal, saying it would lead to unfair competition and destroy investments.

In a letter dated March 25  and signed by Bamburi MD Seddiq Hassani, the four cement makers want to be given a window period of four to five years to set up their own clinker facilities.

They argue that this will provide a predictable policy framework for all investors rather than to increase CET for imported clinker.

"Our joint position is that while we believe that in the long term this is the right direction in order to safeguard local manufacturing, we are opposed to this upward review at this point in time, " Hassani.

Hassani said that a tariff rise at this time risks distorting the market and setting the stage for unfair competition and result in significant damage to investments in the cement sector over the last few years and resultant loss of revenue taxes and jobs. 

Yesterday, Wakiaga said that KAM is committed to driving industrial growth in the country and continues to engage the government to increase the manufacturing sector’s competitiveness.