NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya is considering imposing an export tax on
semi-processed leather in order to promote value addition
locally, the leather industry regulator said on Thursday.
Charles Ndungu, head
of research standards policy, Kenya Leather Development Council
(KLDC) told Xinhua in Nairobi that Kenya currently exports
approximately 80 percent of its semi-processed leather due to
lack of local capacity to convert it into finished goods.
“We will consider
imposing an export tax on wet blue leather once the leather
industrial park is complete and the country is able to absorb
all semi-processed leather,” Ndungu said.
He said that Kenya’s
decision to impose an export tax of 80 percent on all raw hides
and skins has dramatically reduced its sales overseas and led to
new investments in tanneries.
He noted that under
Kenya’s industrial agenda, the country hopes to process all
hides and skins produced locally into finished goods.
According to KLDC,
Kenya produces 2.5 million hides and 10 million skins annually.
to poor handling along the value chain most of the hides and
skins are not fit for production of leather products for the
international market,” he said.
He observed that
most of the semi-processed leather is exported to India and
China for further processing.
Ndungu noted that
Kenya currently produces approximately eight million pairs of
shoes annually against a demand for 24 million pairs of shoes.
“We are major
importer of finished leather products despite having sufficient
raw materials for producing leather products,” he said.
He added that most
of the leather processing industry consists of small enterprises
that operate in the informal sector.
KLDC said that it
will catalyze the growth of local leather industry through
development of common user facilities for processing leather
into shoes, belts and other fashion accessories.