The European Union Commission Regulation 1387-2014 reinstating Kenya on duty-free access to the EU market as of December 25, 2014 was published on December 24, 2014 in the Official Journal of the EU. This was the best Christmas gift the flower industry could receive. The news has brought a sigh to the many exporters who were hit hard by the duties since October 1, 2014. It marked the end of the exporter’s anxieties over the last decade.
This came after both the European Parliament and the Council formally expressed their ‘non-objection’ to the proposed Commission Delegated Act reinstating Kenya on duty-free access to the EU market under the Market Access Regulation (MAR).
Graciously, the EU decision-makers fast tracked its internal processes and reduced the normal 2 months institutional scrutiny period to 1 month, paving the way for Kenya to return to duty-free status by end of 2014 instead of end of January 2015 as initially anticipated.
Kenya Flower Council (KFC) together with Union Fleurs tirelessly lobbied on the reinstatement of Kenya to Market Access Regulation (MAR) and today, comfortably and without a doubt, the industry can now enjoy the fruits. KFC thanks the Union Fleur for investing ample time in following up on the EAC EU EPA progress. The timely reinstatement came as exporters warmup for Valentine’s Day 2015, the flower industry’s peak season.
Notably, the reinstatement of the duty-free status for all Kenyan exports to the EU market under the EU Market Access Regulation (MAR) is subject to a maximum period of validity of 2 years within which the signature and ratification of the EU-EAC EPA must be completed on both sides. Efforts shall be maintained, riding on the current momentum to ensure ratification is achieved.
When the EPA will be fully ratified on both sides, the terms of the agreement between the EU and EAC will be of a perpetual nature and shall help promote long-term stability and visibility in the trading and investment relationship between the EU, Kenya and the other EAC countries.