Who is a resident

The holder of a valid Kenyan passport and Kenyan resident permit as per the Kenya Citizenship & Immigration Act, 2011.

What is Customs Duty

It is a tax imposed on goods brought into Kenya.

Do all passangers pay for Customs Duty

No,various categories of passengers enjoy concessions and entitlements as provided under the 5th Schedule of the East African Community Customs Management Act.

How are Customs Duties assessed

Duties are assessed based on the Customs value of the item and in accordance with the rates provided by East African Community Customs Management Act EACCMA (2004), VAT Act (2013), Excise Act (2015) and any other levies imposed by Government legislation. Customs Valuation is based on the price actually paid or payable for the imported goods.

How do I verify if the assessed amounts are correct

The passenger may seek an explanation from the Customs Officer. The passenger has a right to query the assessed Customs duties and Customs Officer is under obligation to demonstrate the correctness.

Are all goods subject to Customs Duty

Yes; however passengers have a concession of USD 500 applicable only to goods for personal and/or household use. Passengers are also exempt on their used personal effects.

Where is Customs Duty paid

Customs duty is paid at the port of entry on goods subject to taxation

When is Customs Duty paid

The imported goods may be liable to Import Duty, Value Added Tax, Excise Duty and any other applicable levies, when the allowable limits are exceeded.

How are Customs Duties paid

Customs duties are paid at the appointed banks or through mobile banking platform after the generation of an electronic payment slip. Banks are located within the terminals.

What happens In case of system failure

Other payment methods will be advised to ease payments.

Are charitable donations liable to Customs duty charges

Yes, donations into the country are taxable unless exempted by the National Treasury and provisions of the 5th Schedule of the East African Community Customs Management Act.

Are inherited goods liable to Customs duty charges

No, however it shall be used personal effects which are not for re-sale and have been the property of the deceased person and have been inherited by or bequeathed to the person/passenger to whom they are consigned.

Are used goods imported by passengers liable to Customs duty charges

Yes. All goods whether new or use, are subject to taxation. However different passenger categories have different concession and entitlements as here below;

Passenger Categorization
Category A. - This category includes all passengers on the first arrival who are bona fide changing their residences to Kenya whether as missionaries, military personnel or Aid Agencies or to take up appointments in commerce or industry. It also includes diplomats, students and other persons resident in Kenya but who have resided outside Kenya for a period long enough as prescribed to enable them to comply with the conditions prescribed in Parts A and B of the Fifth Schedule of EACCMA.
a) wearing apparel;
b) personal and household effects of any kind which were in his personal or household use in his former place of residence;
c) one motor vehicle, which the passenger has personally owned and used outside a Partner State for at least twelve months (excluding the period of the voyage in the case of shipment)

Category B. - Bona fide tourists and visitors to Kenya for periods not exceeding three months. This category includes not only tourists but temporary business and other visitors. Kenya Government has directed that every reasonable facility is to be given to such passengers in the interests of the tourist industry.
a) Non-consumable goods imported for his personal use during his visit which he intends to take out with him when he leaves at the end of his visit;
b) Consumable provisions and non-alcoholic beverages in such quantities and of such kinds as are inconsistent with his visit;
c) That the goods are imported by a returning resident being an employee of an international organization the headquarters of which are in a Partner State and who has been recalled for consultations at the organization?s headquarters.

Category C. - All returning Kenyan residents and passengers not included in Categories A and B above.
a) Wearing apparel;
b) Personal and household effects which have been in his personal use or household use.
Subject to the above entitlements, duty shall not be levied on the following goods imported by, and in the possession of a passenger:-
a) Spirits (including liquors) or wine, not exceeding one litre or wine not exceeding two litres;
b) perfume and toilet water not exceeding in all one-half litre, of which not more than a quarter may be perfume;
c) Cigarettes, cigars, cheroots, cigarillos, tobacco and snuff not exceeding in all 250 grammes in weight.

The import duty-free allowance shall be granted only to passengers who have attained the age of (18) eighteen years.

Is filming equipment liable to Customs duty charges

Filming equipment being permanently imported into Kenya is liable to full Customs duty. However, temporary importation of the same will require the importer to secure a permit from the film Classification Board, where a charge of 1% of the total value or Ksh.30,050 whichever is lower is imposed.

Am I supposed to declare currency or monetary instruments

Yes. Currency and monetary instruments exceeding 10,000 USD or its equivalent MUST be declared at Customs at arrival and before departure.

What other items am I supposed to declare before departing or on arrival

All restricted items should be declared to Customs on arrival or departure.

Am I required to declare items on departure that I intend to bring back to Kenya

The following items should be declared before departing Kenya:

  • Cameras and accessories for filming outside the country which you intend to bring back
  • Items exported for repair or alterations,
  • Toolboxes you require for repair work abroad and you intend to bring back,
  • Jewellery,
  • Sporting equipment,
  • Musical instruments
  • Any item intended to be returned to Kenya.

All temporary importation documents should be retained

Which passengers are required to make declarations to the Customs Officer

All passengers are subject to make declarations to the Customs Officer using the Passenger Declaration Form (Form F88).

What items am I supposed to declare on the Passenger Declaration Form (Form F88) upon arrival

The following items MUST be declared upon your arrival at the port of entry:

? Items you purchase for business promotion and commercial purposes.
? Items you purchase and are carrying with you upon return to the Kenya.
? Items you inherited while abroad.
? Items you bought at duty-free shops on the ship, or on the plane e.g. Spirits, including liquors exceeding one litre or wine exceeding two litres. Perfumes and toiletries exceeding in total one litre of which the perfume should be more than a quarter (250ml). Cigarettes, cigars, cheroots, cigarillos, tobacco and snuff exceeding in 250 grams in total.
? The non-consumable goods which will be exported within thirty days or a period not exceeding sixty days from the date the passenger leaves the country.
? Repairs or alterations to any items you took abroad and are bringing back, even if the repairs/alterations were performed free of charge.
? Items you brought home for someone else including gifts.
? Items you intend to sell or use in your business, including business merchandise that you took out of the Kenya on your trip.
? Currency and monetary instruments over USD 10,000 (or foreign equivalent).

Is it an offence not to declare goods or give false information to the Customs Officer

Yes, it is an offence under the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004 to give false information to a Customs Officer, and it is punishable under Section 203 of the said Act including forfeiture of the subject goods and other relevant laws.

Are Customs Officers permitted to examine passengers luggage and conduct body searches

Yes, Customs Officers are permitted by the law to examine passenger?s luggage and conduct body searches when it is deemed necessary.

Are there passengers exempted from Examination of their luggage and body searches by Customs Officers

Yes, there are passengers exempt from luggage examination and body searches like Diplomats and other privileged persons

How to identify frequent short visit passengers

In order to identify the frequent short visit passengers the Customs Officer also generally scrutinizes the passport and other travel documents of the passengers. The declaration of goods and their values is generally accepted and duty assessed. On payment of this duty the passenger is allowed clearance.

Are there any restricted items, either for import/export

The provisions setting out restricted item for import/export are set out in the 2nd and 3rd Schedule of the East African Community Customs Management Act. They include but are not limited to:-

  • Postal franking machines except and in accordance with the terms of a written permit granted by a competent authority of the partner state.
  • Traps capable of killing or capturing any game animal except and in accordance with the terms of a written permit granted by the Partner state.
    Unwrought precious metals and precious stones.
  • Arms and ammunition specified under Chapter 93 of the Customs Nomenclature.
  •  Ossein and bones treated with acid.
  • Other bones and horn-cores, unworked defatted, simply prepared (but not cut to shape) degelatinized, power and waste of these products, Ivory, elephant unworked or simply prepared but not cut to shape, teeth, hippopotamus, unworked o simply prepared but not cut to shape, ivory powder and waste, Tortoiseshell, whalebone and whalebone hair, horns, antlers, hoover, nail, claws and beaks, unworked or simply prepared but not otherwise worked shells or molasses, crustaceans or echinoderms and cattle-bone.
  •  An unmanned aerial vehicle, for example, drones.
  • All goods the importation of which is for the time being regulated under this Act or by any written law for the time being in force in the Partner State.

Which items are prohibited, either for import/export

The provisions setting out prohibited items for import/export are set out in the 2nd and 3rd Schedule of the East African Community Customs Management Act. They include but are not limited to:-

  • False money and counterfeit currency notes and coins and any money not being of the established standard in weight or fineness.
    Pornographic materials in all kinds of media, indecent or obscene printed paintings, books, cards, lithographs or other engravings, and any other indecent or obscene articles.

  • Matches in the manufacture in which white phosphorous has been employed.

  • Any article made without proper authority with the Armorial Ensigns or Court of Arms of a partner state or having such Ensigns or Arms so closely resembling them as to be calculated to deceive.

  • Distilled beverages containing essential oils or chemical products, which are injurious to health, including thijone, star arise, benzoic aldehyde, salicylic, esters, hyssop and absinthe. Provided that nothing in this paragraph contained shall apply to ?Anise and Anisette? liqueurs containing not more than 0.1 per centum of oil of anise and distillates from either pimpinella anisum or the star arise allicium verum.

  •  Narcotic drugs under international control
    Hazardous wastes and their disposal as provided for under the Basel Conventions
     All soaps and cosmetics products containing mercury
     Used tyres for light commercial vehicles and passengers cars
     Agricultural and Industrial Chemicals as provided under Item 11, 2nd Schedule of the EACCMA (2004)

  • Counterfeit of all kinds as per provisions of EACCMA 2004.

  • Plastic articles of less than 30 microns or conveyance or packing of goods.

  • All goods the importation of which is for the time being prohibited under this Act or by any written law for the time being in force in the Partner State.

Are pets allowed into the country

Yes, pets are allowed upon securing necessary documentation. However they have to accompanying the passenger.

What is a Green channel

It is meant for passengers who have nothing to declare and are carrying dutiable goods within the prescribed free allowance. The passengers can simply walk through the Green Channel with their baggage on the basis of their Oral declaration/declaration on their Passenger Declaration Form. (Category A & B of Passengers).27.

Any passenger found walking through the Green Channel with dutiable/prohibited goods or found mis-declaring the quantity, description or value of dutiable goods at the "Red Channel" (the baggage is examined where misdeclaration is suspected), is liable to strict penal action including arrest/prosecution - apart from seizure/confiscation of the offending goods depending upon gravity of violation detected.

What is a Red Channel

The Red Channel is meant for passengers who have something to declare or are carrying goods in excess of the duty-free allowance. The passenger hands over the Passenger Declaration Form to the Officer on duty at the channel. In case the card is incomplete the Customs officer helps to record the Oral declaration (O.D) of the passenger and thereafter he countersigns/stamps the same, after taking the passenger?s signature.

What is the obligation & entitlement of the public

On the departure side, the principal task of Customs is enforcement related. These include checks to prevent narcotic drug trafficking, smuggling of other sensitive items including foreign currency, wild life products, antiques, gold etc. It is therefore important for the public to know their obligation & entitlements.

What is a Re-export Certificate

In order to facilitate the re-import of the high valued articles including jewellery, electronics, golf kits being carried out of the country, the departing passengers may request Customs for issue of a re-export certificate at the time of his/her departure from Kenya.

What is an AEO

A party involved in international movement of goods in whatever function that has been approved by or on behalf of KRA Customs as complying with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards.

Who can be an AEO

Manufacturers, importers, exporters, clearing agents, carriers/transporters, consolidators, intermediaries, ports, airports, terminal operators, integrated operators, warehouses operators and distributors.

Why Implement AEO

  • Enhance the relationship between Customs and its compliant stakeholders.
  • Fulfil the WCO SAFE framework of standards.
  • Fulfil the global best practice of granting special authorisation and other privileges to reliable & compliant economic operators

What is the Aim of being an AEO Operator

To give preferential treatment to operators (while dealing with their transactions) who have over a period of time proven to be reliable and compliant traders/partners of the Customs and Border Control Department.

What is Preferential Treatment

Exclusive privileges that are accorded to a select few who have met set requirements. They include:

  • Self-assessment and audit based controls
  • Expedited Customs procedures (Blue channelling of entries in SIMBA)
  • Client relationship management
  • Self-management

What are the procedure and requirements for importation into Kenya and clearance through Customs

To import any commodity into Kenya, an importer will have to enlist the services of a clearing agent who will process the import documentation through Kenya Customs electronically on the Simba 2005 system and clear the goods on behalf of the importers. An import declaration fee (IDF) of 2% of the Customs Value is payable. Customs will assess duty payable depending on the value of the goods and the duty rate applicable. The East African Community Common External Tariff prescribing the duty rates of imported items is available at the KRA website.

I am a Kenyan studying abroad and set to come back home soon, what am I entitled to bring into Kenya duty free

You are allowed, among other items, one motor vehicle (excluding buses and minibuses) into the country duty-free subject to the following conditions:

  • You must have resided outside Kenya for at least twelve months.
  • You must have personally owned and used the motor vehicle outside Kenya for at least twelve months.
  • The motor vehicle must not be older than 8 years.
  • You must have attained the age of eighteen years
  • You must not have been granted a similar exemption previously

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

  • You must have resided outside Kenya for at least twelve months.
  • You must have personally owned and used the motor vehicle outside Kenya for at least twelve months.
  • The motor vehicle must not be older than 8 years.
  • You must have attained the age of eighteen years.
  • You must not have been granted a similar exemption previously

What items are exempt from duty upon importation

The Fifth Schedule to the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004 lays out the Exemptions Regime;
Part A : Specific Exemptions ;Privileged Persons and Institutions
Part B : General Exemptions ;Exempt Goods.

What duties are levied on computers and books

Computers, computer printers and parts only attract Import Declaration Fees of 2% of cost (CIF).
Printed Books do not attract import duty but attract VAT at 16%. However, there is an Import Declaration Fees of 2% of cost (CIF). It should be noted that advertising materials attract import declaration fees of 2%, import duty 25% and VAT of 16%.

Are donations or gifts liable to duty

Duty is payable on donations or gifts at the rate applicable under East African Community Common External Tariff unless such goods do not attract duty in the first place.

However, items which are exempted from duties are laid out in the Fifth Schedule of East African Community Customs Management Act. 2004.

Is filming and photography equipment temporarily brought into Kenya exempted from duty

Filming and photography equipment may be allowed into the country on a temporary basis upon clearance through the Customs Simba 2005 System. Such importation is not subject to Import Declaration Form (IDF). However, a security bond has to be furnished with the undertaking that the equipment will be exported within such period, not exceeding twelve months from the date of importation. A non-refundable deposit of 1% of the value of the goods or Ksh. 30,000, whichever is higher, is payable.

What is the maximum age of second hand motor vehicles allowed into the country

Motor vehicles over 8 years old are not allowed into Kenya as per the KS 1515:2000 quality standard by the Kenya Bureau of Standards. Kenya Customs enforces this requirement. This year, we are allowing vehicles manufactured in the year 2009 and thereafter.

How much duty can I expect to pay on importation of a second hand motor vehicle

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

  • Import Duty: 25% of the Customs Value (CIF) of the vehicle
  • Excise Duty: 20% of the (CIF + Import Duty)
  • VAT: 16% of the (CIF value + Import Duty + Excise Duty)
  • Import Declaration Form (IDF): 2% of the CIF value
  • Railway Development Levy (RDL): 1.5% of the CIF

CIF - This is the customs value of the vehicle i.e. the Cost, Insurance & Freight paid for the vehicle. The CIF value of the vehicle is also deduced from the Current Retail Selling Price (CRSP) of the vehicle.

What are the requirements to enable someone to travel across Kenyan borders by road with a personal car

For Kenyan residents travelling with a vehicle registered in Kenya, you will have two options:

  •  Deposit your logbook with Customs at the point of exit or border and collect it upon re-entry into the country.
  •  Alternatively, you could deposit your logbook with Customs - Motor Vehicle Valuation Section at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
    For foreigners, a carnet de passage may be obtained. This document is issued by the Automobile Association (AA) office in any country.

What is a Single Customs Territory?

A Single Customs Territory (SCT) is the full attainment of the Customs Union achievable through the removal of trade restrictions including minimization of internal border controls.

What is Single Customs territory all about?

It is about achieving free circulation of goods in the Customs Territory in order to reduce the cost of doing business.

What are the features of Single Customs Territory?

The following are the features of the Single Customs Territory:
? Goods are cleared at the first point of entry;
? Customs declarations are made once at the destination country;
? Taxes are paid at the country of destination when goods are still at the first point of entry;
? Goods are moved under a single bond from the port to destination;
? Goods are monitored via electronic cargo tracking system;
? Interconnected Customs systems;
? Minimized internal controls / checks.

What are the benefits from the Single Customs Territory?

? Reduces the cost of doing business by eliminating duplication of processes;
? Reduces administrative costs and regulatory requirements;
? Facilitates the free movement of goods, labour, services and capital as envisaged under the Common market;
? Promotes foreign, domestic and cross-border investment;
? Enhances trade in locally produced goods particularly agricultural goods from areas of surplus to areas of deficit;
? Enhances the relationship between the private and public sectors;
? Creates a mechanism for prevention of smuggling at a regional level;
? Reduces the risks associated with non-compliance on the transit of goods;
? Creates an efficient mechanism of revenue management.

Who are involved in the Single Customs Territory?

The EAC Partner States - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Is it true that all persons involved in the clearance process shall relocate to Mombasa and Dar es Salaam as first points of entry respectively?

It is not true. Persons involved in the clearance process may choose to work through representatives. In addition Revenue Authorities have deployed their officers to the first point of entry to facilitate clearance of cargo destined to their countries.

Are Mombasa and Dar-es-Salaam the only first points of entry?

No. All Customs stations that receive goods from outside EAC region are considered as first points of entry including international airports.

How will the goods be cleared?

The goods will be cleared by lodging a single declaration in the country of destination. Goods are then released upon confirmation by the country of destination that taxes have been paid.

Can the customs clearing agent in the importing country access services from the first point of entry?

Yes. The Customs systems are web-based and automated to enable accessibility and interaction from anywhere.

Is it possible to declare transit within the EAC under the Single Customs Territory?

No. Transit declaration shall only apply to goods originating from foreign countries and destined to a foreign country outside the EAC region.

Will the clearing agents be allowed to operate in the Partner States under the Single Customs Territory?

No. A clearing agent licensed by a Partner State shall be authorized to clear goods in another Partner State under mutual recognition. However, through the EAC mutual recognition agreement, a clearing agent licensed in any partner state may clear Single customs Territory goods destined to or originating from their respective country to or from any partner state.

Will the agents be able to access all the customs systems under the Single Customs Territory?

Yes. They will all be able to access the systems. They will be trained on how to use them.

Is it necessary to have a bond guarantee under the Single Customs Territory?

There will be no bond guarantee for goods where taxes have been paid at destination. Bond guarantee will apply on goods meant for warehousing, temporary importation, transit and on duty remission/ exemption.

If a consignment is selected for Physical Examination at the points of entry, who is responsible for supervising the goods on behalf of the importer?

The Revenue Authority staff of the destination country at the first point of entry will be responsible for supervising the physical examination of the goods.q

Is it possible to dispose of / sell goods in any Partner State other than destination country after payment of taxes?

Yes. It is possible to sell goods where duties and taxes have been paid in any Partner State other than the destination country. However, the importer should notify the Commissioners of the importing and destination countries, pay taxes in the consuming country and claim refund from the destination country where taxes were initially paid provided that the goods are under customs control at the time of application.

Will the internal borders of importing Partner States still be handling cargo clearance?

Yes. For cargo cleared at the first point of entry, there will be reduced controls at the internal border stations.

How will the locally produced goods be treated under the Single Customs Territory?

Goods produced in the region are not subjected to import duty when transferred to another Partner State if they meet the EAC rules of origin criteria. However these goods will be subjected to domestic taxes which must be paid before the goods move from the country of origin to the destination Partner State.

Is the Electronic Cargo Tracking System free; if not who meets the cost?

It is not free. The cost shall be borne by the transporter.

How will the Single Customs Territory address the problem of several weigh bridges?

Partner States are committed to reducing the number of weigh bridges.

How are Revenue Authorities going to ensure that the networks are reliable?

All required tests are done to ensure that the networks are stable; before the roll out is undertaken.

What happens in case of network failures?

Revenue Authorities have put in place measures to mitigate network failures.

Who will be responsible if the bonded cargo does not reach its intended destination?

The clearing agent, the transporter and the importer will be responsible in case of diversion of cargo.

How will the other government agencies concerned with the clearing process conduct their mandates in Single Customs Territory environment?

All government agencies concerned with cargo clearance are represented in the Single Customs Territory cargo clearance process.

Who is responsible for the security of goods along the corridors?

Whereas the Partner States provide general security, the responsibility for security of the goods lies with the customs clearing agent, the transporter and the owner.

The shipping lines may delay in providing the manifest. Who takes that extra cost?

An international best practice of submitting manifests prior to the arrival of the vessel already exists between the shippers and the Ports Authorities.

What duties and taxes are local manufacturers liable to

Taxes due are specific to the product. Reference to the EAC external tariff will aid taxpayer in knowing the tariff classification and thus the duty band for import duty purpose, this is read together with the VAT Act to inform if VAT is due on the product imported. The Miscellaneous fees and levies Act informs on IDF (import declaration form), MSL (miscellaneous shippers levy), Railway Development Levy and other levies that KRA collects on behalf of other agencies.

However, for Registered Manufactures the IDF & RDL is currently at 1.5% each (the manufacturer has to be registered under KAM).

As mentioned above, the kind of machine will determine the taxes due.

What is the process of transferring ownership of a car that was acquired duty free

The 5th Schedule of EACCMA, 2004 provides for the importation of Motor vehicles under duty free status provided they meet the required criteria.  Section 119 of the same act provides that duties are payable upon disposal of the Motor vehicle.


  • Customs declaration
  •  Valuation report
  • Copy of motor vehicle records and copy of log book
  • Authority to dispose Motor vehicle (PRO 1C) for diplomatic vehicles
  • Previous importation customs entry


  •  Obtain a valuation report from KRA to ascertain the value of the vehicle for tax purposes.
  •  Liaise with an authorized Customs clearing agent to Lodge a customs declaration using the assessed value and pay the relevant duties computed.
  •  Present the vehicle for inspection by a proper Customs officer to confirm the motor vehicle details.
  •  Once the customs entry has been processed, initiate the transfer process on the NTSA platform.