How To Register a Clearing and Forwarding Company in Kenya

Clearing and forwarding companies are very vital for the shipment of goods from outside countries into Kenya. They act as a link between the owners of the cargo and the means of transport that will be used to deliver the cargo in Kenya.They also help in documentation such as export and import documentation. In order to be a clearing and forwarding agent in Kenya, there are some rules you must comply, this licensing is done by Kenya Revenue Authority ( KRA).

On this article, we will highlight some of the documents needed in order to be a licensed clearing and forwarding agent.

Licensing Process

  1. New Applicants

First of all, you will obtain and fill form C20 which then will be submitted to a licensing officer. The form can be downloaded here.

The form looks like this :

Important Documents You Must Have Before making an Application 

  • PIN certificates for the Company and all its directors
  • ID for all directors
  • VAT registration certificate
  • Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association clearly indicating the Clearing and forwarding Agent’s firm is a registered business.
  • Certificate of Registration from the Registrar of Companies
  • Certificate of good conduct for all directors
  • Evidence of membership with a recognized Clearing & Forwarding Association (KIFWA). The evidence may take the form of a letter, payment receipt for an annual membership fee or a certificate.
  • Letter from bankers showing the company maintains an account with them.
  • Letter from Domestic taxes Department confirming that the Company and all its Directors have lodged current Income Tax and VAT returns.
  • Receipt of payment for the application form.

After submitting your application, you will be invited and interviewed by the Licensing Committee. Successful applicants recommended for licensing are notified and asked to pay the required License fee. The application is then approved by the Commissioner and a clearing agent’s license is issued. Unsuccessful applicants can also make an appeal by which a hearing is conducted, after which licensing is either recommended or declined.


  • Application for renewal of the license is made on the prescribed License renewal form and submitted to customs.
  • The Licensing Officer checks for compliance with the conditions for renewal and confirms if the company has no outstanding transactions or pending queries.
  • If the applicant has no pending queries or outstanding transactions, a recommendation is made Commissioner’s office for renewal of the license.
  • The license is then renewed.
Victor Matara

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