Uganda govt protests Kenya’s seizure of milk products worth Ksh36 mn
Uganda sent a protest note to Kenya demanding the release of consignments of milk seized by Kenyan authorities on alleged quality concerns.
The Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the seizures by Kenyan authorities on January 2, have caused “heavy financial losses to the company”.
Goods worth over Ksh36 million ($360,000) were confiscated, over fears that they are contraband, counterfeit and substandard the Ugandan ministry said in a documents released by Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo on Thursday.
In the protest note, Uganda said the decision by Kenya “contravenes the principle of good neighbourliness” and Kenya’s obligation under the treaty establishing the East African Community, Customs Union protocol, Common Market protocol and World Trade Organisation trade facilitation agreement.
“This has resulted not only into confiscation of 54,310 kilos of powder milk valued at $203,630 and 262,632 litres of UHT milk valued at $157,106 but also have witnessed a sustained negative campaign against Uganda’s milk and milk products, contravening the principle of good neighbourliness and Kenya’s obligations under the Treaty Establishing the East African Community, Customs Union Protocol and Common Market Protocol and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement,” the protest note read in part.
There has been an increased supply of cheap milk from Uganda, leading local processors to raise concerns on the negative impact this has had on sales.
Kenya’s imports from Uganda more than doubled between 2016 and 2017 from Ksh19.28 billion ($192 million) in 2016 to Ksh42.04 billion ($420 million) 2017.
As of 2018, imports from Uganda to Kenya stood at Ksh41.94 billion ($419 million). Exports to Uganda from Kenya, on the other hand, dropped from Ksh62.16 billion ($621 million) in 2016 to Ksh61.88 billion ($618 million) in 2018.
Kenyan milk processors say they are witnessing low sales, especially in western Kenya where there is an influx of the cheap Ugandan milk. This comes even as volumes of Kenyans milk continue to rise.
President Uhuru Kenyatta recently directed the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to impound any powdered milk or dairy products that do not meet Kenyan standards.