Country Guide: Kenya

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Updated: November 30, 2015

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Original Passport (for returning residents, a Passport used for the last 2 years or any previous Passport other than the current Passport are also required; the Entry and Exit stamps are used by Customs to check the compliance of the regulation)
  • Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Original Work Permit
  • Packing list
  • Form C-18 Declaration, signed by shipper (Baggage Claim form)
  • Detailed inventory
  • PRO 1B (Diplomats)
  • PRO 1A (Diplomats)

 

Specific Information

  • The shipper must be present for Customs clearance.
  • All shipments will be inspected by Customs.
  • All cosmetics, toiletries, perfumes, alcohol and foodstuffs will be subjected to radioactive analysis which will cost Kshs 3,000 per sample per item.
  • Computers are not classified as personal effects and are subject to tax and duties.
  • All wooden crates need (ISPM) No. 15 requirements.
  • For non-Diplomats, the goods must have been owned for more than 1 year by the shipper and must be imported within 90 days after approval of the Work Permit.
  • Documents must be received by agent 15 days prior to arrival in order for shipper’s employer to obtain the Duty-Free Exemption Certificate, if applicable (Diplomats).
  • Diplomatic goods are not subject to inspection with an approved PRO 1B in place (Diplomats).
  • The PRO 1A is required if importing alcohol and must be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Diplomats).
  • Diplomats must apply for exemption from duty and value added tax (VAT) through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kenya; the approval for the exemption can take several months.
  • Returning residents must have lived abroad for more than 2 consecutive years and cannot have visited Kenya for a total of more than 90 days from last date of entry in Kenya for duty-free import; shipment must be imported within 3 months of entry date.
  • For the duty-free importation of personal effects, the shipper must have owned the items for at least 1 year prior to import (returning residents).
  • The shipper must not have visited Kenya for a total of more than 90 days in the last 2 years prior to his last date of entry in Kenya (returning residents)

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required                                          

  • Original Passport
  • Original Work Permit
  • Personal Identification Number (PIN) Certificate
  • Original Certificate of Registration / Logbook of the vehicle in English
  • Import Declaration Form (IDF)
  • Certificate of Conformity (COC)

 

Specific Information

  • If a shipper wants to pay duties on the car, the following document will be required:
    • Importer's PIN Certificate
    • Import Declaration Form (IDF) plus IDF charges to be paid (EUR 50)
    • Purchase Invoice in English
    • PRO 1B form approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Diplomats)
  • Left-hand drive vehicles cannot be imported.
  • Vehicles older than 8 years cannot be imported.
  • A fee of EUR 120 for processing must be paid to Kenyan Customs.
  • If the IDF is not available, a penalty of 15% of the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value of the car will be charged by the Kenyan Bureau of Standards (non-Diplomats and expatriates).
  • The Certificate of Road Worthiness must be provided by the owner of the vehicle to the Kenya Bureau of Standards agent (JEVIC); it is required for a pre-inspection at origin to obtain the Certificate of Conformity (COC) for cars coming from Japan / Dubai Singapore / South Africa / UK (cars from origins than these can be inspected in Kenya by KBS for a fee of EUR 150).
  • The OBL and AWB must show the details of the motor vehicle (e.g., chassis and engine numbers, make, model, color, etc.)
  • The shipper must have owned the vehicle for at least 1 year for duty-free import or approximately 61% of taxes will be charged.
  • All shipment documentation must be sent to agent at least 1 month prior to shipment arrival to reduce the possibility of demurrage / storage charges.
  • Diplomats are allowed to import 1 vehicle or motor cycle per shipment; additional vehicles or motorcycles will be subject to duties and taxes at the rate of 45% + value added tax (VAT) at 16%.
  • Motor vehicles must be imported within 90 days after the last date of arrival of the shipper.
  • A guaranty deposit can be requested by Customs of the value of the duties while waiting for confirmation of any exemption.
  • Shipper must not have visited Kenya for a total of more than 90 days in the last 2 years prior to the last date of arrival in the Kenya.
  • Only one duty-free car per returning resident in a lifetime is permitted.
  • If the vehicle is older than 1 year, there is no tax provided that the vehicle is registered in the name of the person moving.
  • Vehicles imported duty free are not transferrable for a period of 1 year.
  • Taxes on vehicles are based on a percentage of the local value for a similar vehicle (approximately 55%) and the vehicle must not have a seating capacity of more than 13 people.
  • All shippers must pay motor vehicle processing fees (currently USD 145 per motor vehicle). 

Pets

Documents Required

  • Vaccination Record (must include Rabies Certificate)
  • Veterinary Health Certificate
  • Original Shipper’s / Owner’s Passport
  • Import Permit

 

Specific Information

  • Documents are required prior to import (issued at point of origin).
  • The animal’s rabies vaccination must be given within 1 year and 1 month prior to import.
  • Import Permit and Rabies Certificate must be presented upon entry.
  • The Import Permit takes approximately 30 days from the time of application to obtain.
  • The fee per animal is KES 500.
  • A duty of 25% and VAT of 16% are required upon arrival.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Weapons, including firearms (a Firearm Certificate issued by the Kenyan Firearms Office is required)
  • Wild flora and fauna (a Plant Import Permit is required)
  • Birds and their products (a Sanitary Import Permit issued by the Director of Veterinary Services is required for the import of birds from countries affected by Bird Flu)
  • The following items may qualify for free import with the limits indicated by persons 16 years and older:
    • Cigarettes (200), cigars (50), tobacco (1/2 pound)
    • Alcoholic beverages (1 bottle)
    • Perfume (1 pint)

Prohibited Items

  • Game trophies
  • Drugs
  • Fruit
  • Explosives
  • Counterfeit currency
  • Gambling machines
  • Pornographic or obscene literature (books, articles, videos, etc.)
  • Animal traps
  • Imitation firearms
  • Alcohol and other spirits
  • Precious metals and stones

Consignment Instructions

Recommended:  Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

 

IAM Note:  Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability. 

 

Helpful Website(s):

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1151.html

http://www.kenyaembassy.com

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.