The first thing that comes to mind when you decide to import a car to Kenya is the cost. Importation might be cheaper than buying from a dealership but due to so many costs accumulated throughout the process, it seems like it’s more expensive. Additionally, many factors come to play when determining the total cost of importing a car including age, make and engine type. The second part of how to import a car to Kenya will discuss the costs incurred throughout the process from purchase to delivery in detail.
You can choose to import the vehicle in a container or a RoRo. Containers are generally expensive but guarantee your vehicle will be in good condition when it gets to the port. The RoRo method places all the vehicles on an open platform. It also guarantees reliable departure and arrival dates. Both methods are generally safe and your choice depends on how much you’re willing to spend. However, when you consider all factors, RoRo is a better option.
The shipping costs will be included in the purchase price since the seller will be the one to organize the shipping. It’s important to inform the seller of your exact location and the preferred yard the car should be delivered to in your sale agreement. This protects your vehicle from loss or theft.
Other crucial information and documents that are needed to import a car to Kenya are:
- Original Commercial Invoice
- Original Bill of lading. This is a document issued by a carrier (or their agent) to acknowledge receipt of cargo for shipment.
- Original Logbook from the country of importation. This has to be canceled from the country of origin and produced before the National Transport and Safety Authority so as to get an original Kenyan Log Book
- Pre-shipment inspection certificate. (certificate of roadworthiness)
- Copy of your PIN certificate/ Copy of certificate of Incorporation (applicable to companies)
The importation fees are quite straight forward and stipulated under Kenyan laws. Customs officers assess the CIF value which will be the amount taxable. This includes the cost of the vehicle, Insurance charged and Freight cost of the vehicle/goods.
For clearance of an imported vehicle, an Import Declaration Fee (IDF) should be paid. The Import Declaration Fee in Kenya is usually 2.25% of the CIF value or a minimum of Ksh 5,000. Additionally, there’s an import duty of 25%, Value Added Tax of 16%, Railway Development Levey of 1.5%.
The Excise Duty varies depending on the vehicle category.
- Private passenger vehicles of petrol engine whose engine capacity exceeds 2500cc (30%)
- Private passenger vehicles of Diesel engine whose engine capacity exceeds 3000cc (30%)
- All Other Vehicle Categories (20%)
Other factors that affect the import fees payable include:
- Age – Newer vehicles fetch a higher import duty since they are more expensive. Therefore, if you want to import a 2019 model, it will cost more than a 2014 model.
- Emissions – Vehicles with more emissions i.e. fuel guzzlers attract high import duty costs. This is because each country is required to pay a fee based on its carbon footprint. Zero-emission vehicles are exempt from these costs.
- Make – The make of a car affects import duties based on its resale value/depreciation. Vehicles that have a higher resale value tend to attract lower costs as opposed to vehicles with lower resale value.
This is mostly agreed upon with your clearing and forwarding agent. The standard fee for single cars is Ksh 15, 000 to Kshs 30,000 while for containers is Kshs 25,000. The price is negotiable so try and look for the best deal. It’s also advisable to arrange the clearing process before the shipment arrives to avoid confusion at the port as this can delay the process making you incur more costs.
This is also where you choose whether you want the car delivered to your location or you’ll take it from the port. If you choose to have the car delivered, it will cost you Kshs 10,000.
For the acquisition process of how to import a car to Kenya, click here.
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