United Kingdom (UK) has officially filed a complaint over the higher import duty charged by Kenya on its whiskies and vehicles among other products from the European country.

Kenya has been applying a 35 per cent duty on whiskies originating from the UK, based on the regulations implemented by the East African Community (EAC) Customs Union.

The tariff is, however, in divergence with the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed by Nairobi and London that set the charge on whiskies emanating from UK at 25 per cent.

Trade PS Alfred Ombudo has revealed that Britain has written to Kenya seeking suspension of the higher tariff even as this would set Kenya on a collision course with her EAC partners.

Britain filed its protest over the decision based on EAC’s Common External Tariff (CET) before the EPA Council, which was formed by Nairobi and London to oversee the deal.

Due to the UK gripe, the council’s trade department has formed a technical working committee to tackle the matter that threatens bilateral trade between Nairobi and London.

The committee is set to consult with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and National Treasury to chat the way forward on the thorny trade issue.

Kenya and UK signed an EPA in London on December 8, 2020 through UK’s International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena and Kenya's then Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina and it was ratified on March 22, 2021.

The pacts permits products from the UK including whiskies, cars and car parts into Kenya to attract a charge of 25 per cent, with Kenya set to ink another EPA with the European Union.