The Government on Friday, December 23, issued a notice authorising the importation of maize, rice and sugar in Kenya duty-free.
In a notice dated Friday, December 23, Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Economic Planning Njuguna Ndung’u directed that up to 100,000 metric tonnes of brown or mill sugar could be imported into the country.
The notice was issued as a response to a notification by the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Development of the country's ongoing sugar crisis.
“In light of the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Development's notification of the country's current sugar crisis, the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Economic Planning directs that 100,000 metric tonnes of brown or mill white sugar,” the notice read in part.
The importation window for the brown or mill white sugar was however set at Friday, March 31, 2022.
The National Treasury also authorised the importation of 600,000 metric tonnes of milled rice duty-free rice after receiving a notification of an impending food crisis in the sector.
“In light of the notification of an impending food crisis in the country by the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Development, 600,000 metric tonnes of milled rice may be imported into the country duty- free” the notice read in part.
The window given for the importation of duty free rice was from Wednesday, February 1, 2023 to Sunday, August 6, 2023.
Treasury, however, directed importers to ensure that the rice was of grade one quality and that it met Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) regulations.
The requirements were that the rice must be dried mature grains, should be clean, wholesome and uniform in size, colour as well as shape.
The grains must also be safe and suitable for human consumption and free from abnormal flavours, smell or discoloration. Importation deadline was pegged at Sunday, August 6,2023.
In another notice dated Monday, December 19, the National Treasury also authorised the importation of 900,000 metric tonnes of white maize duty free issuing a window of Wednesday, February 1, 2023, to Sunday, August 6, 2023.
The notice gave regulations stating that “the imported maize had to be accompanied by a certificate of conformity issued by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.”