Kenya Duty Free Rules To Import

Kenya Duty Free Rules To Import

Kenya Duty Free Rules To Import


Japanese used cars has earned a great fame all over the world and they justifies it on their merit, Japanese used car are available at reasonable price globally so whether it is Australia or Kenya people want to own a Japanese used car as they are worthy to buy and along with that are money savers. Who is here will not want deal a crack which gives a opportunity to save one’s hard earned money. Kenyans are also in the queue of importing Japanese used car, they are fond of Japanese cars usually of their qualities and aside of those, one of the reason is there money saving tag. 

But there are many rules and regulations for importing your car from Japan, there are also many questions related to it and there are also ways by following one can avoid some duty payments which leads to save a good amount of money. You must be interested to know all above-mentioned things to have a beneficial and hurdle free deal.


There are only two cases when you can import a used car from Japan to Kenya:

1. If you are migrating to Kenya then you can import but have some certain terms and conditions which you need to adhere we will discuss it all.

2. There is one more Exemption Rule which Kenya government offers that is called Good Month Rule.

One can import a Japanese used car to Kenya, the rule is if you import a car which is registered in Japan during the months of January to June in year 2011, you will be not charged with any duty, you can import it without paying duty. 


Some Rule and Regulation for importing used car in Kenya:

  • The very first and strict rule which is mentioned on the top the rulebook is, one can not import a used car which is old more than eight years, like this year is 2018 so you cannot import a used car which is manufactured before January 2011.

  • For the entry of imported used car from Japan, only one port is available that is Mombasa. Here accredited agents do the clearance, you are asked to pay an import declaration fee (IDF) of KSH 5000/= or 2.25percent. Whichever is higher of the CIF (cost, insurance, and freight) value paid on the vehicle, (approximately $60 minimum at the current exchange rate. This could rise or fall). Customs will then calculate the custom rates applicable depending on the value of the vehicle.

  • The car imported in Kenya must be the Right-hand drive. Left-hand drive vehicles are not allowed for registration unless they are for a particular purpose.


Duty payments for importing from Japan to Kenya:

Once you paid the import or clearance fee, you have to pay some other taxes, before knowing the amount of payment, you should brief yourself about the terms which are used while paying the other charges, so you will have idea about for what purpose payments are made. 

  • CIF means cost of the car in its country of origin, which includes the combined charges of the insurance, and the freight charge together. 
  • IDF is the import declaration fee, on this a minimum amount of $ 5000 or 2.25 of the CIF Value is paid. It depends on whichever amount is higher one. 
  • Sometimes it may be possible the CIF is also calculated from the current Retail Selling Price.
  • (CRSP) of the vehicle.
  • CFS - Container Freight Station charge are also referred to as port charges, this charge depends on the size of the vehicle which Japanese exporters have to pay to Kenya.


 The Import Declaration Fee - 2.25percent of the CIF value of the imported car:

  1. The Import Duty - 25percent of the CIF value of the car
  2. The Excise duty - 20percent of the (Import duty + CIF value, irrespective of the size of the engine)
  3. The VAT - 16percent of the (Excise Duty + Import Duty + CIF value)

The CIF price for all used car, on car imported from Japan website are calculated automatically, it will be more easy to find out a suitable car with our budget in a few seconds.


Terms for import your vehicle duty-free:

If you are wishing to import your used car import free, it is possible when your car clears and attains some certain conditions and inspection, the guidelines are administered by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). And all application to utilize the facility should be made to the Commissioner of customer services.

Importing your car by avoiding the duty is possible in that case if you have own a car for 6 months in Kenya and then it was taken away to the country, and you are returning to Kenya, or you are with a foreign embassy, or the UN.  

According to Section 247(b) of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004, the Commissioner of Customs Services shall allow residents returning from countries operating left-hand drive motor vehicles, to import a duty-free right-hand drive replacement vehicle from any other source subject to the following conditions:

1. The person must be changing residence(permanently) from a place outside Kenya and not simply making a short visit back to Kenya.

2. The person who is returning to home have to prove his ownership and use of the previously owned left-hand drive vehicle in the country of former country for a period of at least one year, prior to his return. 

3. The returning resident must provide proof of disposal (transfer of ownership) of the previously owned left hand drive vehicle before changing residence from the former country of residence.

4. Only those vehicle are allowed as replacement vehicle must having similar category with the previously owned left hand vehicle in terms of, engine rating and year of manufacture.

5. Both the previously owned left hand vehicle and the right hand replacement vehicle must not be any of the following categories:

  5.1 Bus or minibus having seating capacity of more than 13 passengers.

  5.2 Load carrying vehicle of load carrying capacity exceeding two tonnes.

6. The replacement vehicle should varies with the KEBS requirements of Legal Notice No. 78 of 15th July 2005 and KS 1515:2000 Kenya Standard Code of Practice for inspection of Road vehicles. Particularly, the replacement vehicle:

  6.1 Must be less than eight years old from the year of first registration.

  6.2 It will be subject to roadworthiness inspection by KEBS appointed inspection agent in the country of export.


Exemption in Duty some other requirements:

  • The vehicle you are importing should be more than three months old but less than 8 years old, and has been registered in the owner’s name for more than three months.

  • The vehicle with capacity less than 2,500 cc.

  • The vehicle is not sold within 12 months of import.

  • The owner’s native place in Kenya and has a valid work permit.

  • If the owner is 18 years of age or older.

Process and stages involved in importing a duty-free vehicle: 

First, you need to register, stages involved in registering a Duty free Vehicle in Kenya are not much different from importing a new private vehicle, the difference is in the payment of government tax, in that the Duty free vehicle is not required to pay government taxes whereas the private new vehicle pays for taxes. 


How to complete the registration form and what are requirements:

Only when you provide all correct documents the registration officer will issue you registration forms which needed to be completed and submitted by applicant from the government which includes:

  • Allocation of Registration Number of New Vehicle Form
  • Auto vehicle License Form
  • Form B
  • Federal Road Safety Form
  • Tax Form


Police Confirmation and Endorsement:

Once you completed the form and submitted to the registration office the concern officer forward the complete form to Police Officer attached to the licensing office to adjoin his/her signature on the Allocation form after verifying and satisfied with the documents along with the vehicle brought for registration. This process is done to ensure that the vehicle under registration varies and attains all the existing laws binding motor vehicle registration and that the vehicle to be registered is risk free not a stolen vehicle.

Next Stage is issuing of Number Plate-
After receipt of the police approved document, the registration officer proceed it for process of payment which is based on the type and capacity of vehicle.


Collection of issued Number Plate:

The following are the steps required to obtain a new Number plate.

  • Applicants desired number is sent for VERIFICATION.

  • Documents submitted for registration of vehicle are confirmed with the above mentioned requirements.

  • Filling of special number request form by applicant after which payments are made to appropriate banks.

  • Applicant returns duly completed form and proof of payments.

  • Produced special plates are documented and handed to the owner alongside other documents.

  • The issued number plate will then be handed over to the applicant, The number plate for duty free vehicles differs from the other vehicles.

Attention !!!  It is not important that all the vehicles which are manufactured for sale are in the foreign countries can be imported into Kenya, it is a general rule if you are planning to import a vehicle which is less than 25 years old or is bus manufactured on or after Jan 1 , 1971 it must qualifies for importation under Transport Kenya's Registrar of Imported Vehicles.

The duty free vehicle has opened up the opportunities for Diaspora returnees to be privileged in a number of other areas, including exemptions from custom duties, as well as regulations allowing investors to import duty free vehicles. A vehicle which got relief has been granted may not be sold or otherwise disposed of, hired out, lent or given as security in Kenya during the 12 months following the date of registration without payment of the exempted taxes.


What are the Documents Required:

  • You need to provide the vehicle registration documents.

  • It also requires the sales invoice, receipt of purchase or other similar document.

  • Need to show the evidence of the date on which the vehicle was brought into country (e.g. proof of shipping).

  • You will be asked for the original passport to confirm the above.

  • Vehicle Logbook to confirm the above.

  • Need the Pre Inspection Certificate.

  • KRA Pin Card.

  • You will also be required to produce evidence of use of the vehicle abroad.

This evidence should include

  • Service and Maintenance Records
  • Fuel Receipts
  • Documentation to indicate that annual circulation and registration taxes have been paid etc.


The eligibility criteria under those one can apply for import duty vehicle are as follows: 

  • The Applicant must be a diplomats or any of their family members is a diplomat representor.
  • If the person is the member of the administrative or is a technical staff of a diplomatic mission.
  • Persons belonging to certain officials, including Defence Forces personnel, serving abroad on UN missions are eligible for applying the exemption in duty.
  • The applicant must have been living or serving abroad for a continuous period of one year or more.
  • They must have had owned and used the vehicle, outside the Kenya, for at least 12 months before the date of transfer of residence to Kenya, and
  • Must not have been granted exemption from KRA on similar grounds within the preceding five years.


What are the instruction one must follow:

The owner of the Vehicle has to renew the registration with the Land Transportation Office in Kenya by law. Also you need to provide asked correct informations because an inspection is conducted and a report is prepared which implies the specifics details of the vehicle and also the corresponding emission test done to check the vehicle is in a good condition before it is permitted to be used on the public roads of Kenya.


You need to provide below mentioned details:

  • Full name of yours with correct spelling

  • Your certified Date of birth

  • Required a legally valid identity proof

  • Proof of your Citizenship

  • Need a address proof

  • The occupation you belongs any document confirming the same

  • The Customs Value (CIF Value)

  • The Engine Size of your car

  • The Manufacturing age of the car

  • Monthly exchange rate


Documents Needed:

A duty-free vehicle" is a vehicle which has been gets hand on without any payment of VAT, Customs Duty, Excise Duty or any other consumption taxes payable and "tax" means Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and other import charge (i.e. Customs Duty and VAT) where applicable.


Any investor may import duty free vehicle in Kenya:

  • Ambulances used for emergency case of employees
  • Buses used for tour operation services
  • Without prejudice, the board may issue directives on conditions of importing duty free:
  • Up to three 4-wheel drive vehicles for tour operation services
  • Vehicles for any other investments depending on the type and nature of the project.

In this circumstances there is a relief from tax in respect of a duty-free vehicle that is being brought into the Kenya State by an individual as part of their personal property on transfer of residence.

The disabled, blind and Physically disabled persons also import their vehicle duty free, but there are some criteria they have to follow:

  • The car to be imported should be designed specially for the use by disabled or physically handicapped person.
  • The car is intended for the educational scientific or cultural advancement of the disabled for the use of an organisation approved by the government of Kenya.


What are the requirements Kenya disabled persons car Import Tax Exemption:

  • The Application letter requesting for importing car belonging to disabled person should addressed to the commissioner of customs services.
  • You must have the original medical certificate from a registered doctor confirming person’s disability.
  • There will be requirement of original letter of recommendation from the Association for the physically disabled of Kenya or The National Council of persons with Disabilities.
  • The person must possess a copy of driving license with class ‘H’ endorsement.
  • He/ she must have Bill of lading for the vehicle.
  • Invoice/proforma invoice for the vehicle.
  • Tax compliance certificate/Tax exemption certificate.
  • Cash remittance transfer slips used to pay for the vehicle (i.e. proof that payment for the vehicle was made by the applicant).
  • The concern person’s Bank statement for the last six months.
  • Where the applicant has previously been granted exemption on a vehicle under this category, subsequent exemption shall not apply unless such person has used the motor vehicle so imported on exemption for a period of 4 years and tax has been paid for the vehicle upon which exemption had been previously granted.


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