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Kenya Customs Information

Duties and Tax Exemption

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) was established by an Act of Parliament, which became effective on 1st July 1995.

The Authority is charged with the responsibility of collecting revenue on behalf of the Government of Kenya.

For contact information regarding government custom authorities, please follow the link below: http://www.revenue.go.ke/

Emergency Response:

[Note: This section contains information which is related and applicable to 'crisis' times. These instruments can be applied when an emergency is officially declared by the Government.

When this occurs, there is usually a streamlined process to import goods duty and tax free.]
Whereas a local import would have many stages, all UN, NGO’s and other privileged organisations will have various exemptions making the import procedures different.
Local imports are usually subjected to an Import Declaration Form (IDF) application before the goods are shipped. A payment of KES 5,000 (approx. $70) application fee is paid to customs.
However, the total amount payable is usually 2.75% of CIF whichever is higher. If the KES 5,000 fee is less than the 2.75% amount then the difference will be paid at the time of import.
On payment of this amount the importer liaises with the supplier to arrange for inspection by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) or its appointed agent at the country of origin.
A Certificate of Conformity (CoC) will then be issued to the supplier/importer which will form part of the clearing documents… however the UN and NGO’s are exempt from these procedures

Agreements / Conventions Description

Ratified by Country?

(Yes / No)

WCO (World Customs Organization) member

Yes   1/1/1995

Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention

Yes 16/02/2005

OCHA Model Agreement

Yes

Tampere Convention (on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations)

08/01/2005

EAC (East African Community)

YES More details on http://41.220.130.18/customs/

Exemption Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response)

[Note: This section should contain information on the usual duties & taxes exemption regime during non-emergency times, when there is no declared state of emergency and no streamlines process (e.g. regular importations/development/etc.).]

  • Whereas a local import would have many stages, all UN, NGO’s and other privileged organisations will have various exemptions making the import procedures different
  • Local imports are usually subjected to an Import Declaration Form (IDF) application before the goods are shipped. A payment of KES 5,000 (approx. $70) application fee is paid to customs.
  •  However, the total amount payable is usually 2.75% of CIF whichever is higher. If the KES 5,000 fee is less than the 2.75% amount then the difference will be paid at the time of import
  • On payment of this amount the importer liaises with the supplier to arrange for inspection by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) or its appointed agent at the country of origin.
  •  A Certificate of Conformity (CoC) will then be issued to the supplier/importer which will form part of the clearing documents… however the UN and NGO’s are exempt from these procedures

Organizational Requirements to obtain Duty Free Status

United Nations Agencies

  •  They first must apply to the Ministry of Finance giving cargo particulars. This includes details of the Bill of Lading and consignment notes relating to the cargo in question
  • Once fully processed a DAI or PRO 1B will be issued which will form part of the clearance documents to be presented to customs

Non-Governmental Organizations

 Same as for UN Agencies

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure

All imports will normally be cleared from customs on presentation of the documents listed below. Please not that not all of the following documents may be required.

Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure
Generalities (include a list of necessary documentation)

Two original Bills of Lading, one ‘no charge’ invoice / supplier invoice / packing lis Certificate of Origin and Certificate of Conformity (not required by UN agencies)

Fumigation Certificate, a Phytosanitary Certificate and a Plant Import Permit (PIP) (food imports only) Rail Consignment Note (RCN - for rail transport)

Ministry of Finance Duty/Tax Exemption Letter (food imports) Customs Import Entry Form C63 Conversion into Home Use Letter

(only in case that the Duty & Tax Exemption Letter is not timely received, where the cargo is temporarily cleared in transit) Certificate of Manufacture / Expiry Date

Process to be followed (step by step or flowchart)

STEP 1 - MINISTRY OF DEVOLUTION & PLANNING – SPECIAL PROGRAMMES

• Documents are lodged at Mr. Salim Molla’s office. Who marks them out to drafting.
• Docs received and drafted by the secretaries.
• Docs are then passed on to Mr. Salim Molla’s for signing.
Average days taken = 2 to 3 days.

STEP 2 - THE NATIONAL TREASURY

• Docs are received at the PS’s office, registered and marked out to Mr.W.Mwambia.
• Docs are received at Mr.Mwambia’s office and registered then marked out to Mr.Omenda.
• Docs are received by Mr.Omenda’s office who mark’s them out to Ms. Jackie for drafting.
• Docs are drafted and returned to Mr.Omenda for proof reading and approval.
• Docs are then printed and sent to Mr.Mwambia’s office for signature.
• Upon signing the exemptions are sent to Ms.Jackie for dispatch to Customs.

Average days taken = 4- 5 days.

 

STEP 3 - KRA – CUSTOMS NAIROBI.

• Exemptions are received at Customs Registry, Times Tower 10th floor.
• Docs are registered and entered into the registry system.
• Docs are then sent to the Coding Dept. There are registered and entered in to the coding system.
• Docs are then coded and sent back to registry for dispatch.
N.B: Documents from KRA NBO to KRA MSA are usually dispatched on Tuesdays & Thursdays. However, occasionally WFP requests them to fax the docs to MSA for urgent processing.

Remarks: 

  • The Overall process can take 5-7 days on average.
  • Occasionally we are able to push for the exemptions to be processed in 2-3days; this is normally subject to availability of the officers concerned at all stages.

Exemption Certificate Document Requirements

Food 

Shelter, Wash and education 

Medicines 

Vehicles and Spare parts 

Staff and office supplies 

Telecoms equipment 

Invoice

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

AWB, BoL, or Other Transport Documents

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Donation Non-Commercial Certificate

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Packing List

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Other Documents

 n/a  n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

Customs Clearance

General Information 

Custom Information 

Comments 

Document Requirements

See Below

Embargoes

None as at June 2014

Prohibited Items

The usual list which includes drugs, weapons, etc.

General Restrictions

Imports of GMO commodities are not permitted, all imports of food need to be approved in advance by KEPHIS… refer to KEPHIS link for more details

 

There are occasional restrictions on certain dairy food items (milk powder) some food commodities such as maize etc.

Also certain communications equipment but these change as conditions change and WFP are able to give advice on current conditions

Permits

Please refer any specific questions to: cic@kra.go.ke

Customs Clearance Document Requirements

Food 

Shelter, Wash and education 

Medicines 

Vehicles and Spare parts 

Staff and office supplies 

Telecoms equipment 

Invoice

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

AWB, BoL, or Other Transport Documents

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Donation Non-Commercial Certificate

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Packing List

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Yes, original

Other Documents

      

Transit Regime

  • Upon request to and authorization by the Commissioner of Customs, Customs Officers can be deployed to any border crossing of interest at the client's own cost,
  • i.e. El-Wak border crossing shared with Somalia. It is advisable that all required documentation for customs clearance be ready, by the client and its appointed C&F agent, prior to departure of cargo from the point of origin
  • The estimated time for Customs clearance, for overland road transport is one to two days, provided that all necessary documentation is in order.
  • This suggested time also includes the cargo verification time by the Customs and Police officers against the established transport and clearing documentation. The verification process for relief cargo is not as involving as for commercial cargo
  • Traffic congestion resulting in clearance delays may occur at the big (in terms of volume) border posts, such as in Malaba (main Kenya – Uganda border, serving not only Uganda but also Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and southern Sudan).
  • The time delays are estimated to be about one day although, most delays and congestion are related to clearing documentation that is not in order, for example or the huge volume of traffic at the border post of Malaba where Customs clears cargo transported by both rail and road
  • In general, the Customs rules are very detailed and are implemented through multiple forms. Import and export delays may therefore occur at the major and busy entry and exit points that could affect the smooth running of operations, i.e. Mombasa and Malaba.
  • All transit goods are declared at point of import and travel under bond where the customs will validate and discharge the documentation and at point of exit from Kenya, this is a relatively uncomplicated process and works well
  • The Government has implemented a programme of streamlining its Customs department operations called “single window” so as to become more user-friendly by reducing the number of required forms and procedural stages and to maximize the revenue collection

 For information on contact details, please see the following link:

4.2.1 Kenya Government Contact List