Kenya Retreats Her Ban on Secondhand Clothes

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Kenya has reversed her move to ban secondhand clothes from coming into the country after a series of confidential meetings with officials from the United States of America.

Kenya had taken the move to ban the import of secondhand clothes, commonly known as ‘mitumba’ in an effort to shield locally made brands from collapsing.

Early this year, a US lobby, Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) had filed a petition accusing Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda of violating the AGOA rules by proposing to ban the import of secondhand clothes into their countries.

Kenya’s Trade and Industrialisation Principal Secretary Dr Chris Kiptoo said the country had decided to enforce the policy changes to comply with the Agoa conditions.

When we saw the petition filed in March, we knew that the lobby group had strong arguments, he said.

Kenya has now said that the ban has been lifted and that the stakeholders will now focus on lobbying for the sale of clothes made in Kenya to other countries. 


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