What is Advance Ruling?

Advance Ruling is a written decision concerning the customs treatment of goods given by the Kenya Revenue Authority’s Customs and Border Control department to an applicant prior to importation of goods.

What type of ruling can I apply for?

An applicant can apply for a ruling in respect of:-

Tariff Classification

Determination of the origin of the goods

Determination of the appropriate valuation methodology or criteria and the application thereof, to be used for determining the customs value under a particular set of facts.

Where to apply?

An application should be made in writing to the Commissioner of Customs & Border Control department.

Who can apply?

An importer, exporter, producer, manufacturer or any person with a justifiable cause or their representative may make an application.

How does it benefit me?

Results in reduced processing time at port of entry and allows for better financial planning in assessing tax liability.

Is an Advance Ruling binding?

It is binding on the Customs & Border Control Department and the applicant for use in respect to the goods and conditions under which it is issued.

What do I need to apply?

Written application

Valid Business License (if necessary)

Details (name, address, PIN, email address, phone number etc.) of applicant

Detailed product information such as brand, name, function, use, composition, country of origin, catalogue, demo video, samples, model and model specifications, name of the manufacturer, certificate of analysis/conformity, material safety data sheet, date of expiry, type of packaging, permission to import restricted items if applicable, sales contract, duly filled form C52 (if applicable)

The name(s), addresses, email addresses and other identifying information of all interested parties (if known) and the manufacturer ID code (if known)

The name(s) of the port(s) in which the merchandise will be entered (if known)

Timeline for importation/exportation

Suggested classification/country of origin/Valuation methodology

Any relevant ruling already issued/available

Whether the applicant is aware of the existence of an advance ruling for identical or similar goods or materials

Disclosure of already pending matters in the applicant's case relating to the goods in question before any governmental agency, appellate tribunal or court

What aspects of the information provided should be subject to confidentiality

When should I apply?

Application should be made prior to the importation of goods

What is the cost?

It is Free.

How long does the process take?

The Customs Department will issue an Advance Ruling within (30) days upon receipt of all the requisite information.

How long is the ruling valid and when does it take effect?

An Advance Ruling is valid for 12 months.

It takes effect on the date of issuance as specified in the ruling.

Can my application be denied?

An application may be denied in the following instances:

Where there is insufficient information to make a ruling

Where there is no relation or intended use of a Customs procedure

Where a request has already been made on behalf of the applicant using the same circumstances

Where the matter is being arbitrated or before the courts.

Can an Advance Ruling be revoked or annulled?

Yes. The Customs Authority may revoke or annul a ruling:

If amendments are made to the act

If any conditions related to the ruling have not been satisfied

If you fail to fulfill an obligation imposed under the ruling

If a ruling was given using incomplete, incorrect, false or misleading information

What to expect when a revocation or modification is made?

A written notice will be issued to the applicant

The amended Advance Ruling shall take effect on the date the notice is issued.

What to expect when an annulment is made?

A written notice will be issued to the applicant

The annulment shall take effect from the date of issuance of the initial advance ruling.

Can an advance ruling be appealed?

Yes. If the applicant is dissatisfied with the Advance Ruling given by the Customs & Border Control Department, within thirty (30) days after the date of the ruling an appeal can be made to the Commissioner of Customs.

If the applicant is dissatisfied with the ruling made by Commissioner of Customs, within forty five (45) days of being served with the decision by the Commissioner, an appeal can be made to the Tax Appeal Tribunal.

All Advance Rulings will be published via the internet on the KRA website. Any information intended to be of a confidential nature will be omitted from publication.