Mosquito repellants to be exempted from taxation

The number of children under five years dying from malaria in Kenya has dropped by about three-fold.

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The entire supply chain of mosquito repellents—from manufacture to use—will be exempt from paying taxes should lawmakers approve proposals, in the Finance Bill, 2024.

In what is meant to boost the fight against malaria, the Treasury has proposed to remove three taxes affecting the production and consumption of mosquito repellents as Kenya moves on, intending to eliminate the killer disease by the end of 2030.

Mosquito repellents are applied on skin, clothes, or surfaces to discourage mosquitoes from landing or crawling.

Import of raw materials, inputs, and machinery used for the manufacture of mosquito repellents will be exempt from both import declaration fees (RDL) and the Railway Development Levy should Parliament approve the amendments.

Import declaration fees are charged on all imports into Kenya at the rate of 2.5 percent, albeit in the Finance Bill 2024, there is a proposal to raise it to three percent. The RDL, which is also charged on all imports for home use, is charged at the rate of 2.5 percent. All the exemptions will be “on recommendation by the Cabinet Secretary responsible for matters relating to health.”

Finished mosquito repellents will also be spared the 16 percent value-added tax, making the product affordable to most Kenyans.

At the beginning of last year, the government partnered with SC Johnson to fight malaria by distributing spatial mosquito repellent products free of cost to at-risk populations through global health partners.

This will enable SC Johnson, a US firm that manufactures household products, to invest close to $10 million (Sh1.3 billion) to advance the distribution of spatial repellents, fund malaria education and build new health clinics in rural Kenyan communities.

Kenya is among the few nations, including Guinea, Mauritius, Tanzania, Uganda and Papua New Guinea, that have removed all tariffs on commodities used in malaria control, such as treated mosquito nets, rapid diagnostic test kits and spray pumps.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.