Customs clearance costs are indispensable to Kenya’s international trade. Numerous fees, including customs clearance fees, must be paid to import goods into the country.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) assesses customs clearance fees for services rendered during the customs clearance process.

Customs clearance fees differ based on various factors:

  • The values of the imported goods
  • The type of goods being imported
  • The mode of transport

In Kenya, customs clearance fees are calculated as a percentage of the imported goods’ value. Therefore, the rate varies depending on the imported item.

For example, the customs clearance fee for electronic appliances, motor vehicles, and construction materials is 2.25 per cent of the product’s value. Comparatively, customs clearance costs for pharmaceuticals and medical equipment are 1.5% of the product’s value.

In addition to the customs clearance fee, importers may are required to pay additional costs, such as port charges, value-added tax (VAT), and excise duty. These expenses are also calculated as a percentage of the value of the imported goods.

Calculate the total cost of importing products into Kenya by adding all applicable fees and taxes. These expenditures must be accounted for when preparing a budget for importing goods into Kenya.

Notably, customs clearance fees are variable and dependent on various factors. Therefore, importers should consult a licensed customs agent or the KRA for the most recent customs clearance fee information.

In conclusion

Customs clearance fees are an integral part of international commerce in Kenya. The fees are calculated as a percentage of the imports’ value and vary dependent on several variables. Therefore, importers should consult a licensed customs agent or the KRA for the most up-to-date information regarding customs clearance fees.

Customs clearance is a necessary procedure that facilitates the legal entry of products into the country and ensures their compliance with local laws and regulations. However, many steps must be completed before products can be made available for sale or use.

Importers must submit some documents to the KRA to initiate the customs clearance process, including a bill of lading, commercial invoice, and packaging inventory. These documents specify the value, country of origin, and quantity of the imported goods.

Once the documents have been submitted, the KRA will physically inspect the products to ensure they comply with local laws and regulations. The KRA may request additional documentation or seize the product if discrepancies or issues are discovered.

Importers are required to pay customs clearance fees before the shipment of their goods. The costs are calculated based on the product’s value and are meant to cover the expense of KRA customs clearance services.

In addition to the customs clearance fees, importers could be required to pay port, storage, and handling fees. These fees vary based on the nature of imported merchandise and mode of transport.

Customs clearance fees and duties are subject to change, so the importer must stay current. Failure to comply with local laws and regulations or pay the necessary charges can result in expensive fines and protracted delays.

In Kenya, customs clearance expenses are integral to the import process. Therefore, the fees are calculated based on the product’s value and are meant to cover the cost of KRA customs clearance services. 

To avoid penalties and delays, importers must remain informed of any changes or revisions to customs clearance charges.

 Importing and Exporting.

What is Export in detail?

The goods for Export must be entered (declared) in the prescribed manner. The owner must provide customs full details of the goods specified in the entry and documentary evidence. The displayed items must be exported within 30 days of the entry date.

What are the exporting requirements?

The Exporter is required to retain a licensed customs clearance agent. A clearing agent must process your export documents in the customs system and release your goods.

1 Export Tax:

Several items on Fees and Levies are subject to an export levy.

What documentation is necessary for export clearance?

A licensed customs clearance agent is necessary to clear all exported goods. Always provide your preferred clearing agent with Exportation documentation, including the following but not limited to:

• A valid Commercial Invoice;

Declaration of origin

• Permission or license for restricted commodities

Personal Identification Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

• Purchase Orders and Agreements

• Packing List

The customs agent can then declare exported goods in the system (Create an entry).

Clearance of Customs Procedure

I. Entry Declaration and Management

The designated clearance agent is required by East Africa Community Customs Management to submit a customs declaration (entry). Customs is required to process all compliant statements.

II. Filling, Examining, and Releasing

The agent must present the original entry and supporting documents for processing at the customs discharge/loading station (witness of filling/verification may be conducted at the station or another authorised filling area).

III. Exit

All compliant declarations are made available at the time of stuffing/Verification. Export certificates are issued at the frontier or the departure port.

2 What are imports?

Importation is the act of transporting or inducing the transport of goods from a foreign nation into Partner.

What do you need to know about importation?

According to importable goods must be declared within twenty-one days of the beginning of discharge or, in the case of vehicles, upon arrival.

The importer or clearance agent must provide all mandatory information when declaring an import in the Customs System.

What is required for international trade?

Importers must utilise a licensed customs settlement agent. A clearance agent must process importation documents within the Customs System. and clear your goods.

Taxes and Duties Obligatory:

Taxes are due based on the value of the imported item(s) and the duty rate stated in the subsequent legal documents.

a. Import Duties

The East Africa Community Common External Tariff  for import tax rates range from 0% to 25%, depending on the imported item. However, sensitive products are subject to tariffs greater than 25%. Schedule 2 of the Common External Tariff of the EAC contains a listing of the sensitive products.

b. Excise Duties

Whether or not an imported item is subject to excise affects the amount of Excise Duty owed. The Excise Duty Act specifies excise duty rates.

c. Value Added Tax (VAT)

The standard rate of VAT is 16%. However, commodities exempt from VAT under the Act that taxed to 0%.

d. IDF and RDL stand for Import Declaration Fees and Railway Development Levy, respectively.

The Miscellaneous Fees and Levies The imposes of import declaration fee for a railway development levy of 2 per cent on the value of imported products.

What paperwork is necessary for the certification of imported goods?

Automobiles, machinery, and general merchandise are examples of imports that a licensed customs clearance agent must clear. Therefore, always submit importation documents to your preferred clearing agent, including but not limited to the following:

• A Certificate of Conformance  issued for regulated products by the agent.

• if applicable, a mark of import standards (ISM);

• The Exporter’s certified commercial invoice

• valid pro forma invoices from the Exporter.

Bill of Lading (marine cargo)/Airway Bill (air cargo)

Declaration of origin

Commercial Invoice for Maritime Cargo

• Logbook and, if not written in English, its English translation (vehicle);

• Permission or license for restricted commodities

Personal Identification Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

  1.  Exemption letter (if the product is exempt).
  2.  Purchase Orders and Agreements
  3.  Certificate of Road worthiness for Motor Vehicles
  4.  Packing List
  5.  Credit Letter (if available)

The customs agent is then authorised to declare the imported goods (Create an entry) in the customs system.

Clearance of Customs Procedure

I Registration and Administration of IDF

After obtaining a pro forma invoice, the importer must hire a licensed clearance agent to submit an import declaration form. Finally, before shipment, the importer must submit the IDF to the supplier for inspection.

II. Entry Declaration, Tax Payment, and Processing

The designated clearance agent is responsible for filing a customs declaration and billing the importer. The importer makes the bank payment and provides official bank receipts to the agent. Customs must process all compliant representations.

III. Validation and Other Compliance Measures.

The agent must present the physical dossier for physical examination at the customs station where the products are domiciled.

IV. Clearance and Discharge

After verification, all compliant declarations are authorised and released.

It signifies the Customs Bond.

Explanation of the Bonds jargon


According to Glossary of International customs terms, a bond is “an undertaking in proper legal form by which a person binds himself to the Customs to perform or refrain from performing a specified act.”

The parties agree to pay a specified sum if any of the conditions of the contract are not met.

The bond guarantees that Customs collect all imported duties, taxes, fines, and penalties from the surety company if they cannot collect from the importer.

Bank Guarantee

It is a requirement for payment in dispute in which the principal elects to execute a bond (in the amount in controversy) instead of paying cash. Its legality is contingent upon its implementation.

• Bond Reinstatement

A bond may be reinstated for various reasons, including the precise accounting of covered transactions. The iCMS (Integrated Customs Management System) forwards the applicant a notice of bond reinstatement.

• Suspend Bonds

Failing to account for the transactions covered by a bond is one of the many grounds for suspending it. In iCMS, an applicant receives the notification of bond suspension.

• Bond or guaranty

The person who agrees to pay the surety if the principal fails to enhance with the terms and pay the fine. Typically, these are financial or insurance companies.

• Customs Security Bond

If the bond’s conditions are not met, the parties agree to pay The Commissioner of  Customs the specified amount of money, known as the bond’s penalty. The obligation in all security bonds is joint and several.

• Principal

The person who agrees to comply with the bond conditions and pays the penalty if any conditions are violated. They are typically importers or their agents.

Import Duties on Motorcycles

How much would it cost to import a bicycle, given import duties, excise taxes, and customs clearance fees?

Import Tax on Automobiles

How much would it cost to import a vehicle, accounting for import duty, excise tax, and customs clearance fees?

Taxes and Duties Calculator for Kenya

Calculate your estimated taxes and duties for shipping from the United kingdom to Kenya based on your shipment’s weight, value, and classification.

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Essential Aspects of Shipping for Kenya

Customs duties and import taxes may apply when transporting a package from the United kingdom to a foreign nation. In addition, it conveys to Kenya the following international distinctions must be understood.

The exemption threshold is zero dollars.

The shipment’s total value will be assessed as import tax. So, for example, if the declared value of your cargo is $100, the recipient must pay the destination country’s government an additional $14 in taxes.

Unfortunately, certain formalities are required.

Additionally, you will be required to pay taxes.

  1. When shipping in large quantities, discounts may be enhanced.
  2. Costs must be disclosed in advance.
  3. Start Shipping To Kenya With Confidence
  4. UK Kenya shipping was developed to facilitate the growth of any company by streamlining international transportation to Kenya and any other country.

Learn how UK Kenya shipping simplifies the customs clearance process, or promptly sign up to ship with these exceptional options.

The following factors affect shipping prices:

  •  Being kilogram in mass
  •  Flat Export
  • 2 to 3 working days
  • Shipping cost


• Express International via DHL

1 to 3 working days

Shipping charges total $99.18


UK Kenya shipping – First-Class Mail International

2 to 3 working days

shipping cost:  

package delivery to Kenya for as low as £23.49.

Be as low as £8.50 a kilo for a door to door.

Costs associated with commercial procedures  

Depending on the nature of the quantity of the commodities, the Customs laws in effect at the time of the transaction, and the public services required to complete the essential trade procedures, traders must pay various duties, taxes, fees, and charges.

The Portal provides exhaustive information regarding the import and export duties, taxes, fees, and costs that must be paid for particular products. This information is available in the section detailing the estimated costs for each procedure. 

How Much Does Importing a Car into Kenya from the United Kingdom?

First, it must be determined how much it will cost to import a vehicle from the United Kingdom to Kenya . This article describes the necessary costs, how much you will pay for each component and any additional services you may desire to hire.

Additionally, we have produced a video that can be observed. It will allow you to budget before falling in love with your ideal vehicle.

The Cost of the Automobile

The cost of the vehicle is the most crucial factor. Numerous individuals must be aware that most automobile dealerships offer only modest discounts on their cars. 

Typically, these auto supermarkets do not offer discounts or charge extra purchase fees. If independent dealerships provide discounts, it could be instead of required vehicle preparation. However, they will inform you that service will only be performed if you have a discount. 

Consequently, the purchase price of a vehicle frequently reflects the final price precisely.

Automobiles that qualify for VAT

Vehicles owned by a business less than three or four years old may be eligible for VAT. It is the holy grail of exportation, as it permits a discount of 20% off the advertised price. 

However, only some dealers can claim VAT on your behalf because they need more resources to manage the required paperwork. They will lose the opportunity to generate a profit margin by selling finance and insurance products to UK clients and future servicing businesses due to COVID and diminished stock levels. 

UK Kenya shipping offers tax-free vehicles and handles the VAT reclaim as part of our service. We incorporate the VAT so that you are not required to pay it. The search for VAT-eligible vehicles reduces the number of available vehicles; the older the car, the fewer VAT-eligible vehicles are available.

Transportation in Great London

In addition to the cost of the vehicle, transportation costs within the United Kingdom must also be considered. Depending on the car’s location within the United Kingdom

If the vehicle is located in London, retrieving it may cost $550. It includes the cost of insurance, trains, aircraft, personnel time, and fuel for the return of the vehicle.

After recovering the vehicle, it must be inspected by the Kenyan, which costs approximately in tax. As a company based in the United Kingdom, we do not charge our customers UK VAT; therefore, you only pay £850. However, if you pay an individual, the price that you are liable for reclaiming the VAT.

Shipping to Mombasa

You can ship your vehicle from the United Kingdom to Mombasa via a container or a less expensive ‘roll on roll off’ service. The service is in highest demand for cars valued at less Cash. The price range for a sport utility vehicle and a 20-foot shipping container. Container service incurs additional costs at the Kenyan terminal.

 It can put an additional Kenyan Shillings. Only on automobiles of high value are required to be conveyed in containers. Although not required, we recommend that vehicles with a price tag which are purchased in a container. The prospect that your container will be transferred to the Inland Container Depot Nairobi (ICD) reduces your control over your import costs, which is one of the drawbacks of choosing a container service. 

You must become more familiar with the team receiving your vehicle and the costs you will incur. The duration of shipping for both services is comparable.

Marine Insurance

It is required for imports of vehicles into Kenya. While on the water, insurance coverage is needed. It must be coordinated with an insurance company in Kenya. The average expenditure is 0.4% of the vehicle’s value. The client is responsible for procuring coverage for C&F commercial marine insurance.

Purchase Agent Compensation

You may choose a London agent to help you purchase and export your vehicle. However, due to the procedure’s complexity, several car dealerships in the United Kingdom need to be more interested in facilitating foreign buyers. 

As a result, we select the best vehicles for your budget, evaluate the quality of the vehicle, negotiate on your behalf to obtain the best price, and ensure that everything is supplied accurately, including two keys, floor mats, a spare tire, a locking wheel clamp, and manuals. In addition, we provide that the vehicle’s odometer reading is accurate, that it has been correctly maintained, and that it is delivered to the highest possible standard. 

Additionally, we manage the shipping arrangements and ensure the vehicle arrives on time at the port. The remaining items and paperwork are then delivered via DHL to our Nairobi office or your clearing agent for storage. It is incorporated into the price.

These costs can vary based on the agent you select. You may find that a relative with a job charge minimal, but you must accommodate their collection and inspection schedules. If your customer can only view vehicles on the weekend and it has already been sold, you may get the opportunity to acquire them.

 A specialised importer, such as MHH International, whose services are approximately 8% more expensive. Within this 8%, we locate your vehicles, negotiate the best price, and evaluate the car objectively. Importantly, you receive the vehicle tax-free. Importers typically require you to pay UK VAT when they acquire a car and then refund it once it has been reclaimed. You will not be responsible for paying UK VAT with MHH International; we cover that cost.

It is the total cost of conveying your automobile to Mombasa, also known as a C&F service. Be aware that most UK dealers claim to provide export services, but your shipment may be delayed and poorly managed because exporting is not their primary competency. Our top priority as a reputable importer is ensuring all automobiles are shipped with the utmost skill.

Costs of vehicle clearance in Kenya.

Depending on the size of your vehicle, you will be charged between 40,000 and 70,000 Kenyan Shillings (KSH) in port fees upon arrival. It includes IDF fees, radiation fees, and free CFS storage for 14-27 days.

To finalise your vehicle’s IDF entry, you must hire a clearance agent for a fee between 10,000 and 30,000 Kenyan Shillings.

 We offer a cleaning and registration service for 8% of the price of the vehicle to some clients. This fee can be reduced for customers who can pay a significant portion of the vehicle’s final price in advance.

Other Fees, Including Excise, Import Duties, Value-Added Tax, and Others

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) calculates the duties on used automobiles using the CRSP formula. 

Correct duty calculation is not always straightforward, and contradictory advice is frequently encountered. Therefore, we developed our KRA prestige car duty calculator to provide the most up-to-date car duty calculations.

Regularly, the KRA modifies the CRSP fees. Moreover, the method for calculating the customs value has undergone recent changes. Additionally, the excise tax has been adjusted over the past five years. Therefore, you must completely believe your agent’s adherence to current regulations.

Registration Fees

The registration fee ranges from 15,000 to 23,000 Kenyan Shillings. It is the responsibility of the clearance agent. A particular license plate transfer costs thirty thousand Kenyan Shillings. However, it can sometimes prolong the time necessary to register your vehicle.

Your vehicle is now certified and may be retrieved from the CFS.

Vehicle transportation expenses to Nairobi

A multi-car carrier can transport your vehicle to Nairobi for between 20,000 and 25,000 shilling, while a single-car page can cost 72,000 shilling. The cost can be reduced by having another person drive the vehicle. Despite this, the risk of granting access to a particular individual is highly high, so we advise you to exercise extreme caution.

Before Receiving Your Vehicle

Our consumers desire for their brand-new vehicles to arrive in pristine condition. After a lengthy journey, a thorough cleaning is required. As a result, we valet your car. Occasionally, a vehicle may incur minor damage during transport, which we will also repair before delivery. The vehicle has not been driven in over six weeks, so we perform a little service to ensure it is in exceptional condition.

 Typically, importers do not provide these additional details. Nevertheless, we recognise that going the extra mile for our clients makes all the difference.

3 Month Guarantee

All vehicles we clear are covered by a 3-month warranty unless otherwise specified by the client.

Assets Finance Automobiles.

Banks mandate the installation of surveillance devices in all asset-financed vehicles. This item’s price ranges from 50,000 to 75,000 Kenyan Shillings. By default, MHH quotes include the tracker for I&M Bank but not for NCBA.

You will discover that importing a vehicle is a complicated process. This guide is comprehensive for those prepared to do it themselves to save money. Hiring a professional importer to handle duties facilitates life and is a wise investment because it provides peace of mind. Purchasing a vehicle is the most challenging aspect. However, we can also assist you in this regard.

Users can precisely estimate the total cost of the procedure by inputting variables such as the total value and weight of products, among others. 

Below is a breakdown and classification of the duties, taxes, fees, and costs that a merchant must pay:

1. Duties & levies

A duty is a tax imposed by the government on imports and exports. It includes all cess, levies, taxes, and surtaxes. Customs duty rates vary by product and country of origin and depend on the merchandise’s value, HS code, weight, etc. The subsequent summary comprises germane responsibilities:

• Import Duties: According to the Common External Tariff (CET) of the East Africa Community, import tax rates vary from 0% to 10% to 25%, depending on the imported item. However, the duties on products classified as Sensitive exceed 25 per cent. The sensitive products are listed in the Second Schedule of the EAC Common External Tariff (CET).

• Excise Duties: Excise Duties vary depending on whether the imported product is subject to excise. The Excise Duty Act specifies the rates of Excise duty.

Taxes are a form of government revenue imposed on goods and individuals. Import and export taxes are levied on goods imported and exported from a country. The following are the taxes and levies that apply:

• Export Levy: Some items are subject to an export levy under the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, First Schedule.

The Standard Value-Added Tax (VAT) rate is 16%. However, the 0% rate applies to items exempt from VAT under the Value-Added Tax 

• Import Declaration Fees: According to the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act of 2016, a 2% import declaration fee.

• Railway Development Levy : Under the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act of 2016, imports are subject to a 1.5% Railway Development Levy.

Tax exemption is the reduction or elimination of a payment obligation. These items are exempt from import duties. Those with disabilities are also eligible for tax exemptions, which require purchasing an exemption certificate. 

The applicant must then personally appear before the Department of Domestic Taxes for an interview and to obtain a Receipt Slip for more information on tax exemptions for people with disabilities.

2. Costs and expenses

Government agencies assess fees and duties for services related to import and export. However, according to WTO rules, service fees cannot exceed the service’s approximate cost.

Don‘t hesitate to contact us today to learn more about our international shipping services. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process.

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