Motor Vehicle Import Procedure and Regulations In Kenya

Kenya is one of the countries in East Africa that has strict motor vehicle import regulations. In this article we shall look at the procedure, regulations and required documentation for you to import one of those vehicles you have always wanted.

What are some of the regulations for importing a car in Kenya?

Motor Vehicles destined top Kenya must comply with Kenya Bureau of Standards legal notice of 2005.

The Imported Vehicle;

  • Must be less than 8 years old form the year of first registration.
  • Will be subject to road worthiness inspection by a KEBS appointed inspection agent in the country of export. (e.g Quality Inspection Services Inc. Japan QISJ)
  • Must be Right Hand drive

Taxes Applicable in Motor Vehicle Importation

The following taxes/duties are payable for motor vehicle imports based on customs value.

Import Duty (25%)

Excise Duty

This duty varies with vehicle category.

  • Private passenger vehicles of petrol engine whose engine capacity exceeds 2500cc (30%)
  • Private passenger vehicles of Diesel engine whose engine capacity exceeds 3000cc (30%)
  • All Other Vehicle Categories (20%)

Value Added Tax (16%)

Import Declaration Fees (2%)

Railway Development Levy (1.5%)

What documents are required?

Importation Supporting documents should be attached including but not limited to:

  • Original Commercial Invoice
  • Original Logbook from the country of importation that has been cancelled from the country of origin, as this will be required by National Transport and Safety Authority to give you an original Kenyan Log Book
  • Original Bill of lading
  • Pre-shipment inspection certificate. (certificate of road worthiness)
  • Copy of your PIN certificate/ Copy of certificate of Incorporation (applicable to companies)

Motor vehicle Importation Process

Duties and taxes are levied on any imported and exported goods before releasing them from Customs; except goods qualifying for special privilege according to the laws and regulations, whereby their duties and taxes are exempted.

To import any good such a car or machinery requires the engagement of a customs clearing agent.

When engaging with your preferred clearing agent ensure you always have:

  • Import Declaration Forms (IDF)
  • Customs declaration (Entry)
  • A Certificate of Conformity (CoC) from the PVoC agent for regulated products
  • an import standards mark (ISM) when applicable
  • valid Commercial invoices from the exporting firm
  • valid pro forma invoices from the exporting firm

The customs clearing agent is then allowed to declare the goods you are importing on the customs portal known as SIMBA.

What are the requirements to enable me travel across Kenyan borders by road with a personal car?

For Kenyan residents traveling with a vehicle registered in Kenya, you will have to deposit your logbook with Customs at the point of exit or border and collect it upon re-entry into the country.

For foreigners, a carnet de passage has to be used. This document is obtained from Automobile Association of any country. It contains a list of countries it can be used.


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