Four firms get preferential tax on newsprint imports


Workers pack books in carton boxes at Kartasi Band limited warehouse in Nairobi, Kenya. PHOTO | FILE | NMG

Four Kenyan firms have been cleared to import 15,250 tonnes of newsprint paper under a special East Africa Community (EAC) tax for the manufacture of textbooks.

Deng Alor Kuol, chairperson Council of Ministers, said Kenafric Manufacturing Limited has been allowed to import 12,000 tonnes of newsprint under the EAC duty-remission scheme while Elite Offset Limited has the nod to ship in 2,000 tonnes of the commodity.

Others are Parvati Industries Limited which will import 1,000 tonnes and The Print Store Limited which has been allocated 250 tonnes of import volumes.

Duty remission refers to a rebate of duties paid on imported inputs, including raw materials or capital goods when used for the manufacture of goods for export outside the East African region.

“In exercise of the powers conferred upon the Council of Ministers by Section 140 of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004 and Regulations 3 and 6 of the East African Community Customs Management (Duty Remission) Regulations, 2008, the Council of Ministers issues this Notice,” Mr Kuol said in a legal notice.

“A remission of import duty is approved for Kenya for the following manufacturers on specified quantities of raw materials and inputs for the manufacture of exercise books, textbooks, and unit boxes to apply a duty rate of zero per centum (0 percent) for twelve (12) months” he added.

Newsprint paper imported outside the EAC remission scheme attracts a 10 percent duty rate per kilogramme both in rolls or sheets.

The development comes at a time when the cost of stationery products has been on a steep rise globally due to the scarcity of production materials.

On the local scene, the crisis has been further compounded by high import costs buoyed by a weakening shilling against major world currencies as well as inflationary pressures.

The educational and commercial stationery market in Kenya has over 400 manufacturers and suppliers with main players including Twiga Stationers and Printers Ltd, Kenafric Manufacturing Ltd, Kartasi Industries, and Economic Industries Ltd among others.

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