The United Kingdom (UK) has temporarily suspended export taxes on cut flowers to improve trade ties between East Africa and the UK.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the UK noted that suspending an 8% tax on cut flowers will significantly benefit important flower-growing regions in Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda and will also apply globally.

PHOTO | COURTESY A woman picking flowers

Growers can now export unlimited flowers at 0% duty "even if they transit via a third country" from April 11, 2024, until June 30, 2026.

"The UK’s relationship with East Africa is rooted in mutually beneficial trade. This additional flower power will allow trade to bloom. We go far when we go together… or in this case, we grow far when we grow together, further reinforcing the UK’s commitment to the expansion of trade in East Africa," said Trade Commissioner for Africa John Humphrey.


According to the UK government, the value of commerce in cut flowers between the UK and Ethiopia in 2023 is Ksh.2 billion (£12.6 million), Ksh.118.5 million (£727,000) from Rwanda, Ksh.136.7 million (£839,000) from Tanzania, and Ksh.162 million (£1.1 million) from Uganda.

Ethiopia is Africa's second-largest cut flower grower, accounting for 23% of Sub-Saharan African exports.

In 2022, Kenya was the world's fourth largest exporter of cut flowers, accounting for 6% of worldwide cut flower exports.