Cheleq Customs Bundle

More on common terms used in Importing Vehicles into Kenya

Excise Duty: According to the Excise Duty Act of 2015 is levied at KSh150, 000 for a car less than 3 years old while Ksh200,000 for a car more than 3 years old. "This has been perceived to be unfair, inequitable and punitive to importers of vehicles commonly imported by low income earners but beneficial to importers of luxurious vehicles" said Mr Rotich. "In order to address the situation, I propose to amend the Excise Duty Act, 2015 to remove specific rate of duty and introduce ad valorem rate of 20 per cent based on the value of the vehicle."

Value Added Tax (VAT): The VAT is the amount the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) charges the 16% value added tax (VAT) to the buyer.

Railways Development Levy: This levy was introduced to help the government finance the rail network's upgrade. It has been set at 1.5% of imported goods, meant to fund for the construction of a new railway line from the Port of Mombasa to Uganda.

Maritime Surcharge Levy (MSS Levy): The tax charged to all shippers when items are imported.

Import Declaration Fee (IDF): With Kenyan imports, the clearance agent is not the person responsible for obtaining the Import Declaration Fee license. The importer is responsible for obtaining the license before any goods are imported into Kenya. The IDF is usually a charge of 25% of the CIF value of the goods. This is separate from any other taxes charged on the import including excise, duty and VAT.

Clearing & Freight Forwarding Cost: This takes care of the imports logistics by the Freight Forwarding Company including dealing with the carriers, legalities and insurance.

Delivery Order Fee: This is the fee paid for the release of goods by the shipping company. The custodian of the cargo must verify the delivery order and proof of completion of the customs clearance procedures. Only then will the cargo be released to the importer. The Delivery Order Fee is the cost of verifying the delivery order and having your automobile released.


Question: What are the custom charges for importing a motor vehicles into Kenya?

Answer: The duty payable on the importation of a motor vehicle is as follows:

Import Duty: 25% of the CIF value of the vehicle.

Excise Duty: Kshs150, 000 for a motor vehicle less than 3yrs old while Kshs200, 000 for a motor vehicle more than 3yrs old.

Value Added Tax (VAT): 16% of the (CIF value + Import Duty + Excise Duty.)

Import Declaration Fee (IDF): 2.25% of the CIF value or Kshs 5,000, whichever is higher, is payable.

Question: Is a returning resident Kenyan in the diaspora entitled to bring a motor vehicle into Kenya duty free?

Answer: Yes, you are allowed, among other items, one motor vehicle (excluding buses and mini buses) into the country duty free subject to the following conditions:

The returning resident citizen must have resided outside Kenya for at least 2 years during which period you should not have visited Kenya for an aggregate of more than 90 days.

- The returning resident citizen must have personally owned and used the motor vehicle for at least 12 months.

- The motor vehicle must not be older than 8 years.

- The returning resident citizen must have attained the age of 18 years.

- The returning resident citizen must not have been granted a similar exemption previously.

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