Sugar Board blacklists importer

Published on 04/03/2009

By John Oyuke

M/S MAT International has been stopped from importing sugar with immediate effect.

Kenya Sugar Board (KSB) said in a public notice the firm has been blacklisted from the list of eligible sugar importers and exporters until further notice.

“Based on this decision Kenya Sugar Board shall not consider M/S MAT International Ltd as an eligible sugar importer/exporter,” it said.

This position, it added, would continue to prevail until such a time the firm would demonstrate the ability and willingness to comply with guidelines. KSB said it took the action to exercise its powers as the industry’s regulator. MAT is a key sugar importer.

Release order

Under the new rules recently published by Agriculture Minister William Ruto, importers must get a permit from the board for each consignment. The rules say the board will only allow sugar imports out of the port of Mombasa on production of a release order.

The new regulations stipulate that on arrival at the port of Mombasa, all consignments must be physically inspected and verified by the Sugar Board and the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Kenya produces about 400,000 tonnes of sugar a year against domestic demand of about 600,000 tonnes annually.

Under safeguards agreed with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, it is allowed to import 200,000 tonnes duty free to cover domestic shortfalls.

The quota is imported under the Board’s watch that registers importers and issue licenses.

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