Kenya - 1 Kenya Country Profile

Kenya - 1 Kenya Country Profile


Generic Information 

Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Kenya), is a country in East Africa. A member of the Commonwealth with a population of more than 47.6 million in the 2019 census, Kenya is the 28th most populous country in the world and 7th most populous in Africa. Kenya's capital and largest city is Nairobi, while its oldest and second largest city, which until 1907 was also Kenya's first capital city, is the coastal city of Mombasa which includes Mombasa Island in the Indian Ocean and the surrounding mainland. Kisumu is the third-largest city and also an inland port in the Winam Gulf which, along with its numerous bays and human settlements, is one of the important maritime transport, fishing, farming, commercial, history and tourism hubs on Lake Victoria. As of 2020, Kenya is the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and South Africa.

Kenya is bordered by South Sudan to the northwest, Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the east, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south, and the Indian Ocean to the southeast. Its geography, climate and population vary widely, ranging from cold snow-capped mountaintops (Batian, Nelion and Point Lenana on Mount Kenya) with vast surrounding forests, wildlife and fertile agricultural regions to temperate climates in western and rift valley counties and dry less fertile arid and semi-arid areas and absolute deserts (Chalbi Desert and Nyiri Desert).


Wikipedia Country Information Kenya - Wikipedia 

IMF Country Information Kenya and the IMF 

Economist Intelligence Unit Information  The Economist Intelligence Unit ( 

Humanitarian Info 

World Food Programme Information   Kenya | World Food Programme ( 

Kenya Field Based Preparedness Project 

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Information  Kenya | OCHA ( 

Facts and Figures 

Wolfram Alpha Information   Kenya - Wolfram Alpha ( 

World Bank Information  Kenya Overview: Development news, research, data | World Bank 

Population Information   Kenya Population 2023 (Live) ( 


1.1 Kenya Humanitarian Background


Disasters, Conflicts and Migration 

Natural Disasters 



Comments / Details 



Kenya recently experienced the worst drought in nearly 40 years. Each drought episode is estimated to result in losses of livelihoods to the tune of USD 500million. The frequency, intensity and impact of drought has increased in recent times, with the last drought declared a national disaster in 2022.  



Earthquakes are not common in Kenya, save for minor tremors reported occasionally  



Human and livestock disease outbreaks are reported in Kenya from time to time.  

Extreme Temperatures 


Several parts of the country in the North-eastern region experience high temperatures at certain months of the year particularly Jan -February 



Emerging from the periodic droughts, the two main rainfall seasons in Kenya often cause flooding in the north-eastern regions and the Lake Victoria basins. The flooding often renders roads impassable, bridges broken, and lives lost in a few of the areas that are worst affected.  

Insect Infestation 


Desert locust infestation has been reported in recent years, as well as the African Fall armyworm 



Mudslides and landslides are periodically reported in various parts of the country – particularly in Central Kenya highlands and the Western Rift Valley highlands  

Volcanic Eruptions 


Most volcanoes in Kenya are dormant and have not shown any volcanic activity in the last 50years.  

High Waves / Surges 


High tides are reported in the country – but have not caused any emergencies in the known history  



Wildfires result from human activity especially during the dry season affecting some savannah grasslands around forest 

High Winds 


A few places in the country experience high cross-winds of up to 80mph, which occasionally cause motor vehicle accidents especially in the Northern regions.  

Other Comments 


Man-Made Issues 

Civil Strife 


Several inter-communal conflicts have been reported from time to time, especially resulting from border conflicts and resource-based conflicts 

International Conflict 


Kenya has no active international conflict at the time of current reporting  

Internally Displaced Persons 


There are no internally displaced persons in the country at the time of reporting 

Refugees Present 


Kenya hosts the two largest refugee camps in Kenya – Dadaab in the North-eastern region and Kakuma and Kalobeyei in the North-western regions. These camps are home to nearly 1million refugees fleeing persecution from conflicts in neighbouring countries such as Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Democratic Republic of Congo  

Landmines / UXO Present 



Other Comments 



For a more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters Country Profile. 


Seasonal Effects on Logistics Capacities 

Seasonal Effects on Transport 

Transport Type 

Time Frame 

Comments / Details 

Primary Road Transport 

March – May  


Oct - December 

There has been significant improvement in the national trunk roads and transnational highways paving in the past decade. This has resulted in several the main highways being tarmacked and reducing travel times between major towns and cities. However, Kenya still has many roads constructed largely of earth that can become impassable during the rain seasons. 

This can have a dramatic impact on the road and transport infrastructure but has little or no direct influence on the efficiency of air and rail networks. 

More details on the seasonal effects on roads 

in different regions of Kenya are annexed to this chapter. 

Secondary Road Transport 


Majority of the second transport are earth roads which can be rendered impassable during the rainy seasons (March – May; and Oct – December) 

Rail Transport 


No seasonal impact on rail transport – recently commissioned standard gauge railway has increased transport capacity from Mombasa to Nairobi and Naivasha.  

Air Transport 


No seasonal impacts on air transport between major cities and towns.  

Waterway Transport 


No seasonal impacts on the waterway transport  


The main rain season – locally known as the long rains – is March-April-May (MAM) where most parts of the country receive significant amounts of rainfalls. The short rains season in Oct-Nov-Dec (OND) also causes flooding and roads are cut off. Outside the main national highways, secondary roads are significantly affected during these seasons and rendered largely impassable.  

The port also experiences some congestion in certain seasons, especially during discharge of bulk cargo such as fertilizers imported by private sector players and the government of Kenya. However, in recent times, investment in handling capacity and additional berths, the bulk silo handling of grains and vessel discharge to the standard gauge railway has eased the congestion that often resulted in days or waiting for trucks to load on cargo.  

The main harvesting season for grains in the North Rift region happens in November and December, and occasionally puts pressure on the storage facilities and transport capacities available for humanitarian activities.  

Seasonal Effects on Storage and Handling 

Activity Type 

Time Frame 

Comments / Details 


October – January 

Main harvest season for the North rift region, where bulk grain harvesting happens in the main breadbasket of Kenya. This can constrain availability of storage facilities in the north-rift.  


December – February 

Fertilizer handling at the port of Mombasa can clog the port.  






Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response 


The Government of Kenya has ramped up its capacity to respond to emergencies over the past decade. In particular, the two-tier governance framework under the Constitution of Kenya 2010 establishes disaster risk management as a shared responsibility between the National and County Governments. The County Governments – through the Departments for Special Programmes are responsible for the first line of response. Once their capacities are exceeded or exhausted, due to widespread nature of a disaster, the national government entities complement the county government disaster management activities. If the scale of the disaster exceeds the coping capacity of both the counties and national government are exceeded, a national disaster is declared by the President of the Republic, inviting international actors to join in the disaster response.  

At the national level, several agencies are responsible for disaster management. These include the National Disaster Operations Centre (NDOC), the National Disaster Management Unit (NDMU) and the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA). The multiplicity of disaster management institutions at the national level means that the coordination and communications during disasters can be a significant challenge depending on which disaster is in question.  

Occasionally, the military can be deployed to support emergency response activities – particularly for sudden onset disasters such as floods and terrorism related activities. Generally, the President – with approval of the National Security Council - will authorize the deployment of the military for civil disaster response.  


For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Government Contact List. 



Humanitarian efforts in Kenya typically involve various international and local organizations, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to address various humanitarian challenges, including food insecurity, displacement, healthcare, and education. 


United Nations (UN) Agencies: 

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): UNHCR is active in Kenya, primarily focusing on refugee protection, registration, and assistance to refugees from neighbouring countries, including Somalia, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.  

World Food Programme (WFP Kenya): WFP operates food assistance programs to combat hunger and malnutrition in Kenya, particularly in areas prone to drought and food insecurity. 

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF): UNICEF works to improve child health, education, and protection in Kenya, with a focus on vulnerable and marginalized communities. 


International NGOs: 

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders): MSF provides medical care and humanitarian assistance to populations affected by disease outbreaks, conflict, and displacement. 

CARE International: CARE works on various development and humanitarian projects in Kenya, including initiatives related to food security, gender equality, and economic empowerment. 


Kenyan Government and Agencies: 

The Kenyan government, through its various ministries, plays a vital role in responding to humanitarian crises and disaster management. This includes the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Ministry of Health, and others. 


Local Non-Government Organizations: 

Numerous local NGOs operate in Kenya, addressing a wide range of humanitarian issues, including healthcare, education, disaster response, and community development. 


Donor Agencies: 

Donor agencies and international development organizations provide funding and support for humanitarian programs in Kenya. These include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the European Union, and the UK's Department for International Development (DFID, now part of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office). 



Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: 

The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) plays a significant role in disaster response, emergency relief, and community development. It is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. 


For more information on humanitarian agency contact details, please see the following link: 4.2 Humanitarian Agency Contact List



Kenya - 1.2 Regulatory Departments & Quality Control 

Quality Control

The agencies concerned with regulatory responsibilities and quality control including some of their functions are listed below. image-20240103131851-1image-20240103131851-2  

KEPHIS - Kenya Plant Health Inspection Service  

KEPHIS is a state agency formed by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service Act 2012 and its mission is to provide a regulatory service by assuring plant health, quality of agricultural inputs and produce for food security, globally competitive agriculture, and sustainable development. 

Certification of the quality of seeds and fertilizers. 


  • Testing and monitoring for harmful residual Agro-chemicals on agricultural produce, soils, and water systems. 

  • Preventing the introduction into the country of harmful foreign weeds, pests, and diseases through the adherence of strict quarantine regulations and procedures. 

  • Inspecting and grading import and export agricultural produce so that they are of an acceptable quality. 

  • Implementing the national policy on the introduction and use of genetically modified plant species, seeds, insects, and micro-organisms into Kenya.  

  • Potential importers of food or seeds must apply for a Plant Import Permit (PIP) from KEPHIS prior to any material being imported. Failure to comply may result in commodities being denied entry to Kenya.  


Address: P.O. Box 49592-00100, Nairobi, Kenya  

Tel:   +254 020 884 545 cell:  +254 722 516 221  

Fax: +254 020 882 265  


Website: Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) 



National Biosafety Authority (NBA)  

The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) was established by the Biosafety Act No. 2 of 2009 to exercise general supervision and control over the transfer, handling, and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

The mandate of NBA includes. 

  • To consider and determine applications for approval for transfer, handling, and use of genetically modified organism. 

  • To co-ordinate research and monitor activities relating to safe development, transfer, handling, and use of GMOs. 

  • To strengthen national technical capacities and capabilities for biosafety. 

  • To develop regulations for biosafety Act 2009. 

  • To establish and maintain a Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) mechanism. 

  • To improve biosafety and biotechnology public awareness. 

  • To enforce the provisions of Biosafety Act 2009. 

  • To provide advisory services on matters of biosafety 


Address:  NACOSTI Building, Loresho, Off Waiyaki Way.   

Tel:  +254–020–2678667  



National Biosafety Authority - Service Charter ( 


Kenya Revenue Authority 

The Kenya Revenue Authority was established by an Act of Parliament, Chapter 469 of the laws of Kenya and came into effect on 1st July 1995. KRA (Kenya Revenue Authority) is charged with collecting revenue on behalf of the government of Kenya. 

The core functions of the Authority are: - 

  1. To assess, collect and account for all revenues in accordance with the written laws and the specified provisions of the written laws. 

  1. To advise on matters relating to the administration of, and collection of revenue under the written laws or the specified provisions of the written laws. 

  1. To perform such other functions in relation to revenue as the Cabinet Secretary may direct. 

KRA, as part of its agenda to enhance service delivery and promote tax compliance, continues to implement systems that leverage technology to simplify tax operations. 

Some of these systems include-: 

iTax – Integrated Tax Management System (iTax) is a system that allows taxpayers to update their tax registration details, file tax returns, register tax payments and make status enquiries with real - time monitoring of their ledger account. 

iCMS –Integrated Customs Management System (ICMS) is set to replace the Simba System. iCMS will streamline customs operations as well as automate manual operations. 

RECTS – Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) is a system that facilitates end-to-end monitoring of transits along the Northern Corridor. RECTS has improved cargo security and helped fast- track the movement of goods along the Northern Corridor. 


Times Tower Haile Selassie Avenue  

P.O.BOX 48240 - 00100 GPO  

Tel:   020-310900, 020-2810000 cell:  +254 711 099 999; 



Microsoft Word - KRA - Citizens' Service Delivery Charter 

Kenya Bureau of standards   

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) is the premier government agency for the provision of Standards, Metrology and Conformity Assessment (SMCA) services since its inception in 1974. Over that period its main activities have grown from the development of standards and quality control for a limited number of locally made products in the seventies to the provision of more comprehensive Standards development, Metrology, Conformity Assessment, Training and Certification services. With the re-establishment of the East African Community (EAC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), KEBS activities now include participation in the development and implementation of SMCA activities at the regional level where it participates in the harmonization of standards, measurements, and conformity assessment regimes for regional integration. KEBS operates the National Enquiry Point in support of the WTO (World Trade Organization) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). 

Kenya Bureau of Standards is the custodian and enforcement agency for quality and specifications as well as pre-shipment inspections/verifications.  

 Role of Kenya Bureau of Standards: 

  1.  Provision of the country's Quality Infrastructure for facilitation of trade: In the present era of Trade Globalization, market entry requires compliance to international standards and evidence of such compliance through an internationally recognized Standards, Measurement Systems (Metrology), Conformity Assessment and Accreditation. 

  1. Support of Kenya Industries: A functioning quality infrastructure helps to increase productivity in manufacturing and service delivery. This helps to create jobs, encourages investment, and can promote the careful use of natural resources. 

  1. Sustainability of production systems: A quality infrastructure also helps bring about improvements in environmental protection through sustainable consumption and production, health care, consumer protection, and distributes national wealth more equally by enabling transfer of knowledge to small enterprises. 


Head office location: Popo Road, Off Mombasa Road 

P.O Box 54974 - 00200, Nairobi Kenya  
Tel: (+254 20) 6948000  
Mobile: +254722202137, +254734600471/2  
PVoC: +254724255242  


Service Charter ( 


The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority 

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority is established under the Energy Act 2019 to regulate the Electrical energy, Renewable energy, and other forms of energy as well as Upstream, Midstream and Downstream Petroleum and related products within the Republic of Kenya. 

The roles of Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority include-: 

  • Licensing and regulation of petroleum, electricity, renewable energy sectors  

  • Enforcement and compliance  

  • Economic regulation 

  • Complaints and dispute resolution 


Eagle Africa Centre. 

Longonot Road, Upper hill 

P.O Box 42681-00100, Nairobi 

Tel: +254 709 336 000|+254 020 284 7000 

0709 336 000 


Our Service Charter - Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority ( 


Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board 

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board is the Drug Regulatory Authority established under the Pharmacy and Poisons Act, Chapter 244 of the Laws of Kenya.  

The Board regulates the Practice of Pharmacy and the Manufacture and Trade in drugs and poisons. 

The Board aims to implement the appropriate regulatory measures to achieve the highest standards of safety, efficacy and quality for all drugs, chemical substances, and medical devices, locally manufactured, imported, exported, distributed, sold, or used, to ensure the protection of the consumer as envisaged by the laws regulating drugs in force in Kenya. 

The regulatory functions of the board include-: 

  • Product registration 

  • Licensing establishments 

  • Regulatory inspections 

  • Market surveillance and control 

  • Vigilance  

  • Quality control 

  • Online systems 

Home - Pharmacy and Poisons Board ( 

Pharmacy & Poisons Board 

 P.O. Box 27663 – 00506, Nairobi.  

Lenana Road Opp. DOD 


Kenya Ports Authority 

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) was established in January 1978 by an Act of Parliament. KPA is mandated to manage and operate the port of Mombasa and all scheduled seaports along Kenya's coastline and inland waterways. This includes Mombasa, Lamu, Kisumu, Malindi, Kilifi, Mtwapa, Kiunga, Shimoni, Funzi and Vanga. KPA also manages the Inland Container Depots in Nairobi and Naivasha.  

Services offered-: 

  1. Marine Operations: This includes pilotage, mooring, maintenance of aids to navigation, tug services, bunkering, conservancy, pollution control and firefighting. 

  1. Stevedoring includes stevedoring Services or handling of cargo within the vessel and/or between the vessel and the quay or the next mode of transportation. 

  1. Cargo handling includes stevedoring, shore handling, stuffing, stripping, storage among other services. 

  1. Support services; including support services for vessels, marine crafts and crew calling its ports and terminals. 


KPA handles goods for exportation and importation at the port. KPA levies fees on the services offered and storage charges to shippers who fail to remove their goods within the stipulated free period of four (4) days for domestic import containers and nine (9) days for transit import containers. The costs are published in the KPA tariff book. KPA has an integrated system that connects the public and private agencies dealing with the importation and exportation of goods within the region. The system is referred to as the Kenya Waters Terminal Operations System (KWATOS). It is integrated into the customs system, Integrated Customs Management System (ICMS), which has resulted in increased efficiencies and effectiveness in operations.  




Agriculture and Food Authority  

The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) is a state corporation in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives. AFA was established by the Agriculture and Food Authority Act No. 13 of 2013 to operationalize the Crops Act No 16 of 2013. AFA issues certificates to importers and exporters. AFA uses the AFA–Integrated Management Information System (AFA IMIS) for the automation of its business process. The role of the AFA IMIS is to enable traders importing and exporting crops to acquire regulatory documents from remote locations and at their convenience without having to visit the agency. The AFA IMIS reduces the cycle time for issuing regulatory documents from the respective directorates. The system informs the stakeholders of the status of their applications through the system and reduces the complexity of the payments process by integrating into a payment gateway. It reduces administrative cost and time by eliminating paperwork through automated data collection, and also increases transparency through built-in audit trail reports and analytic[3]. The AFA levies fees for their services published in the AFA Tariff Book. 

Mandate of AFA 

  • Administer the Crops Act, in accordance with the provisions of these Acts. 

  • Promote best practices and regulate the production, processing, and marketing. 

  • grading, storage, collection, transportation, and warehousing of agricultural products. 

  • excluding livestock products as may be provided for under the Crops Act. 

  • Collect and collate data, maintain a database on agricultural products excluding livestock products, documenting, and monitoring agriculture through registration of players as provided for in the Crops Act. 

  • Determine the research priorities in agriculture and to advise on research thereof. 

  • Advise the national government and the county governments on agriculture levies for purposes of planning, enhancing harmony and equity in the sector. 

  • Conduct such other functions as may be assigned to it by this Act, the Crops Act. 


Links to services 

Mapped Processes ( 


Agriculture and Food Authority 
Tea House; Naivasha Road, off Ngong Road 
P.O Box 37962 - 00100, Nairobi 
Cell Phone: +254-700638672 / 737454618 




Port Health Services 

Port Health is a Division within the Department of Public Health mandated to prevent and guard against the introduction or spread of infectious diseases through our ports of entry/exit. This mandate is implemented at designated airports, maritime ports, and land border crossings. Port Health Services are regulated by both:  

  1. International Health Regulation (IHR 2005) and  

  1. Public Health Act CAP 242 & 242 Laws of Kenya) that coordinate health services between countries. 




Afya House, Cathedral Road 

P.O Box 30016 – 00100 Nairobi, Kenya 


Telephone number: 0795958552, 0798088534 

Karibu Port Health | Ministry of Health - Port Health Services ( 

Import health clearance | Ministry of Health - Port Health Services ( 


Anti counterfeit Authority  

The Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) was established under the Anti-Counterfeit Act 2008 as a State Corporation. 

It is mandated to enlighten and inform the public on matters relating to counterfeiting, combat counterfeiting, trade and other dealings in counterfeit goods, devise and promote training programs to combat counterfeiting and co-ordinate with national, regional, or international organizations involved in combating counterfeiting. 

As the principal government agency mandated to prohibit trade in counterfeit products, the agency has in place measures to combat the vice and to contribute to the realization of free trade. The authority has five main functions including research, enforcement, public awareness, training, collaborations, and advisory role on anti-counterfeit matters to the Government. 

The Anti-Counterfeit Act gives the Authority the mandate to: 

  • Enlighten and inform the public on matters relating to counterfeiting. 

  • Combat counterfeiting, trade, and other dealings in counterfeit goods. 

  • Devise and promote training programs to combat counterfeiting. 

  • Co-ordinate with national, regional, or international organizations involved in combating counterfeiting. 

  • Carry out any other functions prescribed for it under any of the provisions of this Act or under any other written law; and 

  • Perform any other duty that may directly or indirectly contribute to  

  • the attainment of the foregoing. 

For services offered by the authority can be found on the link below 


Dr. Robi Mbugua Njoroge, Executive Director/CEO 

Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) 

National Water Plaza, 3rd Floor, Dunga Road, Industrial Area 

Email., https://www, 

Tel. 25420-2280000 

Mobile +254717 430 640 


Communication Authority of Kenya 

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is the regulatory authority for the communications sector in Kenya. Established in 1999 by the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998, the Authority is responsible for facilitating the development of the information and communications sectors including broadcasting, cybersecurity, multimedia, telecommunications, electronic commerce, postal and courier services. 

The roles of CA entail: 

  • Licensing all systems and services in the communications industry, including telecommunications, postal, courier and broadcasting. 

  • Managing the country’s frequency spectrum and numbering resources. 

  • Facilitating the development and management of a national cyber security framework. 

  • Facilitating the development of e-commerce. 

  • Type approving and accepting communications equipment meant for use in the country. 

  • Protecting consumer rights within the communications environment. 

  • Managing competition within the sector to ensure a level playing ground for all players. 

  • Regulating retail and wholesale tariffs for communications services. 

  • Managing the universal access fund to facilitate access to communications services by all in Kenya. 

  • Monitoring the activities of licensees to enforce compliance with the licence terms and conditions as well as the law. 


Links to services by CA 

Service Charter | Communications Authority of Kenya 



Head Office 
CA Centre 
P.O Box: 14448-00800, Nairobi 
Mobile: 0703 042000, 0730 172000 

Homepage | Communications Authority of Kenya 



Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) is a State Corporation under the National Treasury established in January 2011 to establish, implement, and manage the National Electronic Single Window System (Kenya TradeNet System) and to facilitate trade. Kenya TradeNet System is an online platform that serves as a single-entry point for parties involved in international trade and transport logistics to lodge documents electronically, for processing, approvals and to make payments electronically for fees, levies, duties, and taxes due to the Government, on goods imported or exported in the country. 

National Electronic Single Window System Act, 2022 

Roles of KenTrade include: 

  • Implementing policies relating to the National Electronic Single Window System (Kenya TradeNet System). 

  • Integrate electronic systems of public and private entities involved in receipting, processing and approving documents relating to international trade transactions. 

  • Develop, manage, and promote interchange of electronic data for facilitation of trade. 

  • Undertake and co-ordinate research and surveys in electronic commerce aimed at simplifying and harmonizing trade documentation. 

  • Maintain an electronic database of all imported and exported goods and services and the levies, fees, duties, and taxes charged on imported or exported goods and services. 

  • Collect trade statistics. 

  • Plan, develop, monitor, and evaluate training programmes for all stakeholders to ensure conformity with international best practices. 

About KenTrade – KenTrade 

Service Delivery Charter – KenTrade 


Manager, TradeNet & Value add services.  

Billy Ngumi 



For more information on regulatory departments and quality control laboratories’ contact details, please see the following links: 4.1 Government Contact List and 4.3 Laboratory and Quality Testing Company Contact List. 

1.3 Kenya Customs Information

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:

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


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


EAC (East African Community)

YES More details on

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)


• 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.


• 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.



• 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.


  • 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


Shelter, Wash and education 


Vehicles and Spare parts 

Staff and office supplies 

Telecoms equipment 


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 


Document Requirements

See Below


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


Please refer any specific questions to:

Customs Clearance Document Requirements


Shelter, Wash and education 


Vehicles and Spare parts 

Staff and office supplies 

Telecoms equipment 


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