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Trying to understand the costs and regulations of importing a car to Kenya will land one in a quagmire. However, the regulations and the charges are very clear. At afroautos.com, we set out to find out the costs and the regulations for importing a car to Kenya. Today we shall look at the procedure set out by the Kenya Revenue Authority, the government agency that is entitled with the duty of revenue collection in Kenya.
As a developing nation, Kenya is a ripe market for used vehicles especially from Japan. Therefore, we shall explore the most important aspects of importing used vehicles to Kenya
Maximum age of second hand vehicle
Not more than 8 years old. The law is very strict about this, according to the Kenya Bureau of Standards KS 1515:2000. For example, for the year 2012, only vehicles manufactured in or after 2005 are allowed.
There is one port of entry for imported vehicles from Japan, Singapore, Dubai and elsewhere – the Port of Mombasa. This is where ships offload their cargo. Accredited agents do the clearance. A look at the Kenya Revenue Authority website will give you an updated list of clearing agents, about 1000 of them. The agent will check through the documentation of the vehicle, electronically, of course on behalf of the importer.
You will have to pay an import declaration fee (IDF) of Ksh 5000/= or 2.25%, whichever is higher, of the CIF (cost, insurance and freight) value paid on the vehicle, (approximately $60 minimum at the current exchange rate. This could rise or fall).
Customs will then calculate the custom rates applicable depending on the value of the vehicle.
Other duty payments for importing a car in Kenya
Apart from the import declaration fee paid before or during clearance, there are other duty costs. It is important that one know them all as listed here. Importing a car in Kenya, considering that this country’s minimal exports are far outbalanced by imports, is expensive, but there is no better option.
Even before you know the costs, you need to understand the terms used, just so you know what you are paying for.
CIF means the cost of the car in its country of origin, the insurance and the freight charge, all combined.
IDF – is the Import Declaration Fee. On this, a minimum amount of $5000 or 2.25 of the CIF value is paid. This depends on whatever amount is higher. Sometimes, the CIF could also be calculated from the Current Retail Selling Price (CRSP) of the vehicle.
- The Import Declaration Fee – 2.25% of the CIF value of the imported car
- The import duty – 25% of the CIF value of the car
- The Excise duty – 20% of the (Import duty + CIF value, irrespective of the size of the engine
- The VAT – 16% of the (excise duty + Import Duty + CIF value)
All costs are now calculated based on the Current Retail Selling Price (CRSP) of the vehicle of the same or the similar models currently in the market.
To explain briefly about the CRSP, this is calculated on the value of the same or similar vehicle in the showroom, minus the profit margin, and then calculated back to the year of manufacture.
The IDF is paid in advance, upon application. Note that there may be more charges if one hires a used car dealer to source and import the vehicle for them. Even if one sources their own vehicle, they may need assistance for the clearing, registration and delivery.
CFS, Container Freighter Station charges are also referred to as port charges. What the importer pays depends on the size of the vehicle. For example, an NZE Toyota sedan would cost Kshs 22,500 to Kshs 18,500, A Toyota Prado would cost more, may be up to Kshs 34,000.
There are shipping charges plus VAT that are payable to the shipping agents. The amount differs from one agent to the other.