Requirements For Importing Goods Into Kenya

This article focuses on the requirements for importing goods into Kenya. In accordance with provisions of Sec 34 of the EACCMA 2004, goods for importation shall be entered/declared within 21 days after the commencement of discharge. The importer or clearing agent shall capture all the mandatory details required when declaring an import in the customs system.

Requirements When Importing

1. Clearing Agent

The importer will need to acquire the services of a licensed customs clearing agent who is mandated to process the importation documents in the customs system and assist in clearing goods on your behalf.

2. Duties & Taxes Payable

Taxes payable depend on the value of the imported items and duty rate applicable under different legal documents as listed below.

  • Import Duties

Import tax rates vary between 0%, 10% and 25% as provided by the East Africa Community Common External Tariff. Sensitive items attract duty higher than 25%.

  • Excise Duties

This depends on whether the item is excisable or not.

  • Value Added Tax (VAT)

The normal rate of VAT is 16%. Items exempted from VAT attract a rate of 0%.

  • Import Declaration Fees & Railway Development Levy

An import declaration fee of 2% and Railway development levy of 1.5% are levied on value of imports as provided by the miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act of 2016.

Documents Required In Clearance Of Imported Goods

  • A Certificate of Conformity (CoC) from the PVoC agent for regulated products.
  • Import Standards Mark when applicable.
  • Valid commercial invoice from the exporting firm.
  • Valid pro forma invoices from the exporting firm.
  • Bill of lading (sea cargo)/Airway bill (air cargo).
  • Certificate of origin.
  • Freight invoice for sea cargo.
  • Logbook and its translation if it is not in English. (motor-vehicle).
  • Permit/license for restricted goods.
  • Personal or taxpayer identification number (PIN certificate).
  • Exemption letter (in case goods are exempted).
  • Purchase orders/contracts.
  • Certificate of road worthiness for motor vehicle.
  • Packing list.
  • Letter of credit (if available).
Zack Abuyeka

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