Have you ever thought of exporting goods and service in East Africa? Do you have any country in mind? Worry no more Kenya is the country. In a matter of facts, Kenya is the best ranked with the best-growing economy at a high rate when compared to member and signatories of the East Africa Community Treaty. The other members of this community apart from Kenya include Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and latest Burundi.

Kenya is the best-preferred destination by foreign investors because of many factors,  In terms of Security, Kenya is one of the safest countries.

The population which is a key thing in demand for the commodity, Kenya is one of the most populated countries in the east Africa trading bloc. The current population is 50,742,483 as of 2018, based on the latest United Nations estimates. This number can create a good market for goods from others countries. Kenya has the potential to be one of Africa’s success stories from its growing youthful population, a dynamic private sector, highly skilled workforce, improved infrastructure, a new constitution, and its pivotal role in East Africa.

Kenya in the recent days has made significant structural and economic reforms that have largely driven sustained economic growth, social development and political gains over the past decade.

What are the major imports of Kenya?

Refined Petroleum
HS92 ID 2710
Import Value $1.28B
Import RCA 3.80
Percent 7.9%
Most of the refined petroleum is imported from India 77%, Bahrain 6.6%, Qatar 3.2%, Oman 5.8, United Arab Emirates 1.4% and Netherlands 2.8% though there are other small imports from other countries.

Packaged Medicaments
HS92 ID 3004
Import Value $496M
Import RCA 1.95
Percent 3.1%
The main origin of packaged medication is India 59%, China 5.3%, Switzerland Pakistan 8.9%, United Kingdom 7.6%, Belgium 3.5%, France 2.4%, Germany 1.3% among other countries.

HS92 ID 8703
Import Value $M
Import RCA 0.63
Percent 5.77%

Automobiles and their spare parts used in Kenya are most imported from these countries in large quantities, they include; Japan 74%, United Arab Emirates 3.6%, India %, United Kingdom 10% South Africa 3.3% among others countries. Automobiles include cars, delivery trucks, and tractors. For those who plan to import automobiles in Kenya, they should put more preference on cars as they are the most demanded.

HS92 ID 8563
Import Value $3.09B
Import RCA 2.73
Percent 4.65%

Electronics include telephones, computers, Broadcasting equipment, insulated wire, electrical transformers, and video display among many others. Most of these electronics are imported from China 44%, Hong Kong 25%, the United States 9.4%, Netherlands 5.1% and United Kingdom 2.1%. From the list, the most demanded electronics is the telephone it be the most sort after commodities in the recent day this been triggered by the cheap price and network coverage in the country.

Kenyan customs

Customs regulations and information for imports of household goods and personal effects.

Documents Required:

  •  Original Passport
  •  Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
  •  Original Work Permit
  •  Packing list
  •  Form C-18 Declaration, signed by the 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 $30 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 the last date of entry in Kenya for dutyfree 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:
    o Importer’s PIN Certificate
    o Import Declaration Form (IDF) plus IDF charges to be paid (EUR 50)
    o Purchase Invoice in English
    o 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 the 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 motorcycle 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 an 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 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 transferable 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)



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