Talks between the East African Community (EAC) and the European Union about the signing of a trade deal have resulted in a stalemate. An extension of the duty-free access to the EU market which Kenyan flowers currently enjoy, has thereby unfortunately become very unlikely.
As a result of the failed negotiations, the flower sector would do well to get prepared for duties that will quite possibly be levied on all flowers imported from Kenya into the EU, starting October 1 of this year. The taxes will reportedly range between 5 and 8.5% – with the exception of carnations, which will stay at 0%.
“It is of great concern for the whole flower supply chain to be faced with such a situation that could severely impact the competitiveness of Kenya flowers on the EU market and would durably harm all segments of the supply-chain, also on the European side”, states a disappointed Sylvie Mamias, secretary general of international flower trade association Union Fleurs.
She continues: “The market position of the Kenya flower industry is so unique and the positive economic, social and environmental achievements have been remarkable over the past 20 years. To see this industry, and all its partners on the EU market, being left hostage of last-minute political arbitrations of that sort is extremely frustrating. Union Fleurs and the Kenya Flower Council, together with all relevant industry partners, have for the past 10 years carried out together intense lobbying activities to reach a high profile for the flower industry and ensure for a positive outcome of these trade negotiations.”
“We are now keeping a close watch on ongoing discussions between the parties and will continue in our efforts to promote for a positive outcome for these talks as soon as possible, while supporting our members to get prepared for the reality of the situation from 1 October if it so unfolds in the next weeks.”