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How To Import Goods In Kenya

The importation of goods into Kenya is regulated by several government agencies, including the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), and the Port Health Services (PHS). Before goods can be imported into Kenya, importers must obtain several licenses and permits from these agencies, depending on the nature of the goods and their intended use.

The first step in the importation process is to identify the product(s) to be imported and ensure that they comply with the relevant import regulations. This includes verifying that the goods are not prohibited or restricted by the Kenyan government, and that they meet the necessary quality and safety standards.

Once the importer has confirmed that the goods are eligible for importation, they must obtain an Import Declaration Form (IDF) from the KRA. This document is used to declare the details of the goods being imported, including their value, quantity, and origin. The IDF must be completed and submitted to the KRA before the goods can be shipped to Kenya.

In addition to the IDF, importers must also obtain a Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) certificate from KEBS. This certificate confirms that the goods meet the necessary quality and safety standards and must be obtained before the goods are shipped to Kenya. Importers are responsible for arranging and paying for the PVoC inspection, which is carried out by an approved inspection company.

Once the goods have been shipped, they are inspected by the KRA at the port of entry to verify that they match the details declared in the IDF. The KRA will also assess any applicable import duties and taxes, which must be paid before the goods can be cleared from the port.

Import Regulations in Kenya

Import regulations in Kenya are governed by a range of laws and regulations, including the East African Community (EAC) Customs Management Act, the KEBS Act, and the KRA Act. These regulations are designed to protect consumers, prevent the entry of dangerous or substandard products, and promote fair competition in the Kenyan market.

Prohibited and Restricted Goods

Certain goods are prohibited or restricted from being imported into Kenya. Prohibited goods include narcotics, counterfeit goods, and pornographic materials, while restricted goods include firearms, ammunition, and explosives. Importers of restricted goods must obtain a permit from the relevant government agency before the goods can be imported.

Quality and Safety Standards

All imported goods must comply with the relevant quality and safety standards set by KEBS. These standards cover a wide range of products, including food, electronics, and textiles. Importers must obtain a PVoC certificate from KEBS to confirm that their goods meet the necessary standards before they are shipped to Kenya.

Import Duties and Taxes

Import duties and taxes are levied on imported goods at the port of entry. The rates of duty and tax vary depending on the nature of the goods and their value. Some goods are exempt from duty and tax, such as essential medical supplies and equipment.

The KRA uses the World Customs Organization (WCO) Harmonized System (HS) to classify imported goods and determine the applicable rates of duty and tax. The HS is a standardized system used by most countries to classify goods for customs purposes.

In addition to import duties and taxes, some goods may also be subject to additional levies, such as excise duty.