a-breakdown-of-clearing-imported-cars-in-kenya

What is it you need to make sure you have cleared your car fully from the port and have it delivered to you? This guide will help you understand fully and offer you a breakdown of clearing imported cars in Kenya.

Leave alone buying and importing cars from other countries, clearing them at the port could be your biggest hurdle in the long run. Some, who ordered cars from the wrong dealers have succumbed to great losses after a long period of trying to find their allegedly imported cars. You obviously do not want to fall victim to such unscrupulous behaviors.

A breakdown of clearing imported cars in Kenya

  • Quality check inspection in Japan
  • Issuance of roadworthiness certificate
  • De-registration and export approval
  • Issuance of the bill of landing Inspection at the port of Mombasa
  • Payment of customs and duties and clearance by the K.R.A
  • Verification of the documents
  • Registration of the car

There is no quicker way to get through all the required processes. The process begins right from when you order the car from a Japanese auction site or any other auction online. It is also important to understand how to calculate the shipment charges and import duty for you to estimate your costs. All the required costs are summarized in the following table;

chargesCalculation
Import duty25% of the Customs value (CIF) of the vehicle
Excise duty20% of (Customs Value + Import Duty)
VAT16% of (Customs Value + Import Duty + Excise Duty)
Import declaration fee2.25% of the CIF
all required import charges and calculations

The auction house usually offers an auction sheet for the purposes of the verification of the condition of the car. Then it will be checked through a number of stages until it is verified for export and shipment. The following elaborate process explains in length the process of clearing imported cars in Kenya;

Quality check inspection in Japan

how-to-import-second-hand-cars-to-Kenya
how to import second-hand cars from japan

This only applies to cars imported from Japan. The Kenya Bureau of Standards(KEBS) requires that any car that is to be imported from Japan to Kenya undergo a detailed check inspection in Japan. This is to ascertain that every part of the car is still intact. This is also called a roadworthiness test which is specifically done to make sure that only tested and verified cars that are roadworthy get into the country from outside. The team that carries out this inspection will then issue a certification to show that the car is in good condition.

Issuance of the roadworthiness certificate

When the tests are all over and the car is found to be in good condition, the car owner in Japan is issued with a certificate of roadworthiness which will be part of the documents that you need to have when clearing the car at the port of Mombasa. The certificate indicates the conditions and certifies that the car is roadworthy.

This certificate is very important in the clearance part. Make sure you have it among the other documents that will be sent to you.

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Deregistration and export approval

The road-worthy car is deregistered from the owner in Japan to allow for the transfer of ownership upon arrival in Kenya. The owner has to go and deregister the car legally. This will also help in the issue of export certification. It will also be important in clearance at the port. The deregistered car upon issuance of the certificate will be now ready for shipment to Kenya. The car is then placed on the ship and transported to Kenya.

Issuance of the bill of landing

Upon arrival at the port of Mombasa, the car will be issued with a bill of landing. This normally shows that the car has now arrived from Japan and is now in the port ready for clearance. This document will be issued to you too as a part of your clearance documents. It also marks the start of your part of the clearance process.

Most car importers and exporters usually handle that for you and in no time, you will have your car delivered to your location.

Inspection at the port of Mombasa

This is another inspection that is done to verify the condition of the car as in the roadworthiness certificate and the auction sheet. This is important to make sure the car is really in good condition as well as ensure that all the details offered about the car are real. Once the car passes all the inspections, you can now be able to proceed to the next stage.

Clearance by the KRA

How-to-clear-cars-at-the-port-of-mombasa
How to clear cars at the port of Mombasa

The customs department of the KRA plays a very important role in this stage. The stage usually includes the payment of all due taxes, customs, and duties at the port. There are various duties that are imposed by the authority at this stage. This includes the following;

  • Customs duty
  • Import duty
  • Clearance fee etc

The KRA wi take care of the issues regarding all these customs and fees then they will issue you with a customs entry inspection certificate which will help you determine if your car shows that the car is now clear of any government duties.

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Verification of documents

The documents offered by the owner in Japan would have arrived in the country by now. They include all the verification certificates, the auction sheet, and the original logbook of the car, all used for verification of the car. The other documents such as the landing bill and the invoices are verified by the inspection officer before your car is allowed to continue to the next stage.

You will also be required to show your National ID, passport, and other important documents that will be used to identify you as the new owner of the car. Some of the required documents need to be original while others are accepted as copies of the originals.

Registration of the car

Now that all the major parts of the clearance process have been done, the car can now be registered under your name. What you or the registered agent does is apply for a Kenyan registration number plate. It doesn’t take a long time to be issued. Once it has been issued, your car is now ready to be delivered to you. It means it totally conforms to the laws of importation and registration of cars in Kenya. As complex as it seems, that’s pretty much it.

The process requires a highly trusted agent or company. It could be much easier if you use a well-reputed car import agency or trusted online sites. The issue of the banks is also very important. You need to know that the bank you wire your money to is legit. Taking all these things into consideration will help you avoid great losses.

A breakdown of clearing imported cars in Kenya- FAQs

How do I clear an imported car in Kenya?

The best way to clear your imported car is to contract a licensed clearing agent. This way you will avoid a lot of stress on your side. Alternatively, you can use a certified online platform when buying a car so that they handle the process for you.

How much does it cost to clear a car in Kenya?

depending on the size of the car, the cost will range from ksh.600,000-Ksh.800,000. the amount might increase when you add the customs and duties imposed on the car as well as storage fees for the time your car stays there.

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How much is the import duty on cars in Kenya?

import duty in Kenya is valued at 25% of the customs value. note that the car should not more than eight years old for it to be allowed in Kenya. therefore the least you can expect is a 70% depreciation on the price.

How is car duty calculated in Kenya?

The main duties imposed on the car include the following; 25% of the retail price in Kenya to the K.R.A as import duty, 25-30% of the sum of customs value and import duty as customs fee, and 2% of the C.I.F amount as the declaration fee

How long does it take to clear an imported car in Kenya?

Approximately 10-15 days will be enough. However, if any inconveniences arise, it might take longer. be sure to pick a reputable agent to avoid such cases. Learn more about where to import your car from here.

Who is exempted from import duty in Kenya?

The Kenya Revenue specifies that only used household goods, as well as personal effects, have been in use within one year of moving to Kenya. This must be proven by the KRA by providing receipts or tax information. The same applies to cars used by returning citizens or foreign citizens under work permits.

Can you import an old car to Kenya?

It depends on how old your car is. Cars older than 8 years are not allowed for import to Kenya. That is the minimum set by the Kenya Revenue Authority. Therefore, all cars below that are eligible to be imported into the country. The charges and import duty charged by the revenue authority do not vary in any way depending on the year. They only vary depending on the current market price of the car in Kenya at the time.

can I import a car duty-free in Kenya?

You can import your car duty-free into Kenya but under the set requirements. The requirements specify that your car must have been in use for the past year or more. This must be proven by providing receipts, tax documentation, or road tax confirmations. With all of those, you can be able to import your car duty-free. However, this option is only available to returning residents or workers under work permits.

How long does Customs clearance take in Kenya?

Depending on whether the pre-custom clearance protocol stays on schedule, the customs clearance process might take three or two days. However, when the process takes more than expected, the process might take up to 15 days.

How much is the airport clearance fee in Kenya

Airport clearance is divided into three. As listed below;

KES 1,000 – issuance of import health certificate.
KES 250 – airline concession fee
2 % -CIF customs value import duty.

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