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Kenya approves the ratification of the EAC SPS Protocol

Published on July 01, 2016

The Hub worked closely with the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and other key public and private sector actors towards the ratification of this important protocol. The next steps for Hub support include working with KEPHIS to review existing laws, regulations and administrative actions that are inconsistent to the SPS protocol and to offer technical assistance for a reform process to harmonize Kenya's SPS regulatory environment to conform to its new obligations.

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Kenya's Cabinet Secretary in charge of Agriculture, Mr. Willy Bett at the Hub's EAC Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) Protocol Awareness Forum for legislators. On June 29, 2016 the Republic of Kenya approved the EAC Protocol on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures for ratification.



"...this House adopts the Report of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives on the Ratification of the East Africa Community (EAC) Protocol on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 22nd June, 2016 and pursuant to Section 8 of the Treaty Making and Ratification Act, 2012, approves the ratification of the East African Community Protocol on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures..." - Kenya National Assembly, 29th June, 2016.

On 29th June, 2016 the Republic of Kenya ratified the EAC Protocol on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, a key instrument that proposes a common and improved framework in EAC to promote trade in food and agricultural commodities and strengthen the application of a harmonized approach for implementation of SPS measures and activities.  Kenya now joins Uganda and Rwanda as the EAC Partner States that have complied with a ratification deadline of 30th June, 2016. Get the Hub's latest Common Market Implementation Update report to learn more.

Ratification of the SPS Protocol is an important achievement for Kenya. It provides the legal basis for further reforms that are expected to guarantee better food safety measures, plant protection and animal health. When fully implemented in the region's regulatory environment and institutions, the SPS Protocol is expected to: improve mitigation of risks arising from pests, diseases and food safety concerns; improve competitiveness of produce originating from EAC in external markets; and help the region effectively contain major threats, such as larger grain borer in the recent past.

By ratifying the protocol, Kenya has made significant progress towards complying with Article 5(2)(a) of the EAC Common Market Protocol which requires Partner States to "harmonize and mutually recognize sanitary and phytosanitary standards and technical barriers to trade. This action also contributes towards Kenya's commitments to the WTO Agreement on the Application of SPS measures (concerning the application of food safety and animal and plant health regulations) and the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (concerning cooperation in agriculture and food security).