Clearing and Forwarding Procedure in Kenya

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Published On:

February 25, 2017

More and more Kenyans are seeking to import goods from outside the country either for business or personal purposes.

Are you stuck, wondering how to go about importing goods into Kenya? This article will elaborate the procedure and attempt to spell it out clearly.

In order to import any commodity into Kenya, you as an importer will have to procure the services of a clearing agent.

The clearing agent will process all the paperwork on your behalf through the SIMBA Online Platform by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

You need a number of documents for your freight to go through the entry point.

As a basic, you will need the import declaration form, the certificate of compliance (if applicable) and the bill of lading.

We will be looking at each of these documents in greater detail in future blog posts.

Clearing agents have to be licensed by the customs department of KRA.

There has recently been some discord among the freight forwarding agents concerned with delayed registration and licensing for the year 2017.

This has since been cleared after the KRA issued a public notice to try and quell the discontent.

The notice reads, in part:

“Arising from several inquiries regarding the renewal of the Customs Agents licenses for the year 2017, the Customs & Border Control Department wishes to clarify that the Customs Agents licenses issued for the year 2016 are still valid.”

The notice goes on to say that the 2016 licenses are valid up to April 2017 in a bid to facilitate a smooth renewal process.

This means that all clearing agents that hold 2016 can still carry out business up to April of this year.

Imports being offloaded from a ship. [Image: courtesy]

Imports being offloaded from a ship. [Image: courtesy]

Usually, there are some fees payable to the authorities whenever you import goods into Kenya.

For example, if you import a used vehicle from Japan, you will initially pay the cost of the car.

In addition, you will pay the shipping freight insurance fees (CIF).

Upon reaching the port, the vehicle will be subjected to an import declaration fee (IDF) of 2.25% of the CIF Value. This is subject to a minimum of KES 5,000.

The Customs Department will assess duty payable depending on the value of the item and the duty rate relevant to the consignment.

In Kenya and in the wider East African region, the East African Community Common External Tariff (CET) is the basis for laying out the duty rates of imported items is available for all imports.

All containerized local imports into Kenya are usually transferred to a separate container freight station (CFS) assigned to the specific vessel by the Kenya Ports Authority.

This is usually done in order to decongest the port.

Once your cargo is properly declared and certified by the authorities, your clearing agent will inform you that it is ready for collection.

Sidoman Investment is here to hold your hand and walk you through the importation process.

Find out today from our help desk by calling us and letting us take charge of delivering your consignment from the source to your preferred destination, efficiently and effectively.


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