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2024 Latest Customs Clearance Requirements for Exports to Kenya!

2024-06-07 10:00

If you're planning to export products to Kenya, it's crucial to understand and comply with its customs clearance requirements. This article will give you a detailed introduction to the necessary steps and precautions for customs clearance in Kenya to ensure that your goods can be cleared smoothly

1. Apply for PVOC certification and "Product Conformity Certificate" (COC)

According to the Kenya Standards Act and the Imported Product Quality Act, all products exported to Kenya must pass the Standards Conformity Verification Scheme (PVOC) of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) prior to shipment. During this process, your goods will need to obtain a Certificate of Product Conformity (COC), which is a necessary document for customs clearance to Kenya Customs

To obtain a COC, the importer first needs to apply for an Import Permit (IDF) in Kenya. Domestic exporters need to apply to the certification body for inspection of the goods according to the IDF number. In particular, as of July 1, 2022, KEBS has stopped conducting inspections at Kenyan ports of destination, so it is recommended that all goods complete COC certification in the country

2. Prepare customs clearance documents

In addition to the COC, you will also need to prepare the following documents to complete customs clearance:

Commercial invoice

Packing list

bill of lading

Import declaration

Customs Value Declaration Form

Commodity inspection certificate

Proof of import licence requiring approval (e.g. weapons, genetically modified products)

3. Ensure that the declared value of the waybill and invoice is consistent

Kenya Customs requires that the declared value of the waybill for all shipments be the same as the declared value of the invoice. If the two are inconsistent, the customs will use the declared value of the waybill as the basis for taxation. If the declared value is inconsistent due to customer error or manual modification, the customs will still use the declared value when the waybill was first created. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the declared value of waybills and invoices is accurate to avoid additional duties and penalties

4. Prohibited imports

Please note that Kenya prohibits the import of the following items:

Counterfeit currency

Indecent or obscene material

Unauthorized items bearing the national emblem of Kenya

Narcotic drugs

Dangerous goods

Soaps and cosmetics containing mercury

Scrap tires

All kinds of counterfeit goods

5. Insurance requirements

According to the regulations of the Kenyan government, all goods exported to Kenya must be insured by insurance companies in Kenya and CIF terms are not accepted

6. East African Community Common External Tariff (CET)

Since 1 July 2022, the East African Community (EAC) has implemented a fourth tranche of 35% Common External Tariff (CET) for dairy products, meat, cereals, edible oils, beverages, alcohol, confectionery, fruits, furniture, leather goods, textiles, steel products and ceramic products. This measure aims to protect the local manufacturing sector of the EAC member states from the onslaught of cheap imported goods. Currently, the EAC tariff is divided into three tranches; 25% for consumer end-use; 10% for intermediate goods, 0% for raw materials and capital goods

Understanding and complying with Kenya's customs clearance requirements is key to ensuring a smooth customs clearance. By applying for PVOC certification in advance, preparing complete customs clearance documents, ensuring that the declared value of waybills and invoices are consistent, and complying with the relevant regulations on prohibited imports, your export business will be smoother and hassle-free.

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