Kenya customs regulations

Before cargo shipping to Kenya, there are some customs rules and regulations you might want to know in advance. If you are a resident of Kenya returning after having been away for a while, you can ship used household goods and other used personal items duty-free to Kenya as long as you have lived outside of the country for at least two years.

If you are moving overseas to Kenya with a work permit, you are also allowed to ship personal items and household goods duty free, but you must do this within 90 days of getting to Kenya.

Before cargo shipping to Kenya, there are some important documents you need to get in order to make your cargo shipping experience easier. Make sure you have the following paperwork before cargo shipping to Kenya:

  • Passport
  • Work permit (if applicable)
  • Detailed inventory of all of your items

If you are shipping new household goods and personal items to Kenya, you will be expected to pay duty fees based on the value of the items.


Items Restricted from Cargo Shipping to Kenya

If you are cargo shipping to Kenya, it is helpful to note that there are restrictions including additional taxes and fees on certain items. For example, you are required to pay duties and taxes on any alcohol that you ship to Kenya. Other items that require duty fees when shipping to Kenya include:

  • New items
  • Commercial goods for sale
  • Aircrafts
  • Computers
  • Used machinery


Importing or Exporting Goods to or From Kenya

Are you interested in exporting goods from Kenya? Before you can export items from Kenya, you need to complete and file the customs export declaration paperwork.

If you are shipping commercial goods to Kenya, any shipments with an FOB value more than $5,000 USD, will be subject to inspection. For more information on this, the Kenyan Embassy created a helpful handbook for importing or exporting goods to Kenya.

In order to export goods from Kenya, you will also need a commercial invoice and detailed packing list. If you are exporting certain items from Kenya, including minerals, wildlife products, plants, and livestock, you’ll need to make sure that you have an export permit.

For export regulations of Used Clothes, the use of standardized classification code makes it easier to check if any restrictions apply. For more information, see the guideline on Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) to Kenya


Interesting in Shipping a Car to Kenya?

If you are interested in shipping a car to Kenya or importing a vehicle to Kenya, Savannah Cargo can help you with all the details related to RoRo shipping and shipping a car to Kenya. Kenya is a right hand drive (RHD) country and all vehicles imported to Kenya must be right hand drive vehicles. Exceptions to this rule about right hand drive vehicles are sometimes made for certain vehicles like fire trucks or construction vehicles.

In addition, if you are shipping a car to Kenya, it must be no more than 8 years old. This means that if you are shipping a car to Kenya in 2015, the vehicle must be manufactured in 2008 or more recently. When shipping a car to Kenya, you should plan for it to be inspected by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

If you are a Kenyan resident returning to the country, you might be able to ship a car to Kenya without paying any duty fees. There are some standard rules you must follow for this to apply. For example, you must be at least 18 years of age, and the vehicle must be registered in your name for at least one year before shipping a car to Kenya.

You should also plan for car shipping to Kenya within 90 days of your own arrival in Kenya. Some of the documents you’ll need to have before you ship a car to Kenya include:

  • Original passport
  • Bill of Lading
  • Pre-Inspection Certificate
  • Kenya Review Authority (KRA) Pin Card
  • Vehicle log book


Following His Excellency the President’s directive that returning residents from the Diaspora who cannot enjoy duty free facility on their left hand vehicles be allowed to import into Kenya vehicles of similar category duty free, the National Treasury and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) have developed guidelines to implement the directive.
Below, kindly find the guidelines which will be administered by the Kenya Revenue Authority. All applications to utilize the facility should therefore be made to the Commissioner of Customs Services, through the following address:-
The Commissioner of Custom Services
Kenya Revenue Authority Haile Selassie Avenue,
P.O. Box 48240 – 00100, GPO, NAIROBI
254 (0) 20-281 7700 (Hotline)
254 (0) 20-281 7800 (Hotline)
254 (0) 20 34 33 42
Fax 341342