How to import a car into Kenya via a Clearing Agent | Mombasa

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How to import a car into Kenya via a Clearing Agent | Mombasa

With most people now able to use the internet, Kenyans are slowly getting used to the idea of buying things online especially cars. The good thing about buying cars online is the large pool of vehicles and sellers to choose from and the ability to compare prices or specifications. They are numerous car dealership websites e.g. , , , ,  and more, where you can browse and choose from thousands of vehicle brands and models. Most of these websites are well organized to make the purchasing a breeze with clear directions to all the steps up to the payment and shipping. When buying a car online, you will probably have to encounter International trade terms, shortened as ‘Incoterms’. These are international commerce terms to define how your  shipment is treated  when moving them from one country to another. This is where the trouble sets in for some people who don’t understand them. Most car dealership websites will quote an F.O.B (Freight on Board) price to a vehicle. F.O.B price will include the price of the vehicle, origin documentation charges and other related charges up to the point of loading the shipment i.e. in the origin country.

Another term would be C.I.F (Cost Insurance and Freight)-this is more of an extension of the F.O.B, the seller takes care of the entire shipment from the origin of country to the destination country. A C.I.F price also implies that the seller provides the buyer with all the necessary documentation to obtain the items from the carrier of the shipment.

Most sellers use F.O.B since C.I.F rates will vary especially due to destination country of the shipment. On request most sellers can quote for you a C.I.F price when you tell them of destination country, car models e.t.c. Your vehicle should be inspected by JEVIC (Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Centre) which specializes in pre-shipment and certification of used cars fromJapan. You don’t have to worry about this since KEBS has given JEVIC the mandate to inspect all used cars prior for export toKenya. Check the Kenya RoadWorthiness Inspection.

Kenya Revenue Authority Customs duties guidelines.

When you import anything intoKenya, for this matter a car, you will normally have to pay customs duty for the car. Also you will have to enlist a clearing agent to clear the shipment on your behalf; normally at a fee. You cannot also import a vehicle which is older than 8 years toKenya.

The duty payable on the importation of a motor vehicle is as follows:

    • Import Duty: 25% of the CIF value of the vehicle
    • Excise Duty: 20% of the (CIF value + Import Duty)
    • VAT: 16% of the (CIF value + Import Duty + Excise Duty)
    • IDF: 2.25% of the CIF value or Ksh. 5,000, whichever is higher, is payable.

The CIF value of the vehicle is also deduced from the Current Retail Selling Price (CRSP) of the vehicle. CRSP is calculated by getting the current value of a brand new vehicle and depreciating the value according to age. An updated list of CRSP is available on the KRA website. 

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  • david mwangi

    Basically if i’m importing car that’s already at the port worth U$D 5,000 it will probably cost
    me roughly almost half what the car’s worth. Anyways thank you man that was very informative.

  • used cars for sale in Kenya . Visit Thousands of new and used cars listed for sale.

  • Importing a Car to Kenya: What you should know From Gigi Japan . Export Quality cars into Kenya . Get started here

  • Very Resourceful information on importing cars from the UK Here .

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  • Hello,
    Most of these websites are well organized to make the purchasing a breeze with clear directions to all the steps up to the payment and shipping.

  • Hello Wilfred,
    Thanks for your inquiry.
    There are many companies you can use to clear your car.
    Follow this link to our earlier post for clearing.




    JPC TRADE was established in 2003 and currently it is one of the Japan’s fastest growing automobile exporters. We export cars, trucks and buses to all right and left hand drive countries in the world. Being located in center of Tokyo, it is very convenient to access all major auctions, car dealers as well as shipment facilities. With our experience in this field, we are improving our efficiency and customer satisfaction.

  • thank you a lot for the information,i really appreciate it.

  • Hello Chege,a good place to start with is here .

    Just register for a free account and calculate import duties for as many vehicles as you like.

  • chege

    how much will i pay as CIF if i imported a Nissan Sunny Bluebird 2006 model which i am buying for Ksh200,000?

  • You are welcome Lilian.
    Tried out your link and the duty calculator is definitely a perfect tool for any buyer who wants to know duties upfront.
    Worth trying out……

  • Lilian

    Thank you so much for the information. I came across duty calculator that was more advance and more user friendly. Check out

  • Importing a vehicle into Kenya,check out .They have interesting tools and features for Kenyan importers e.g.a duty calculator that gives a fairly accurate cost of imports,clearing and forwarding,customs clearance and more.You can register for a free account on the website.