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Importing is to bring in merchandise from a foreign country. According to EACCMA 2004, section 34 states that, goods for importation shall be entered/declared within 21 days after the commencement of discharge and the importer or clearing agent shall capture all the mandatory details required when declaring an import in the customs system.

Here are the Requirements needed When Importing goods:

1.  Duties & Taxes Payable

 Duties rates are determined by the total value of the goods paid for in the another country while Taxes payable depend on the value of the imported commodities. Duty rate are relevant under different legal documents listed as follows;

  • Import Declaration Fees & Railway Development Levy

An import declaration fee of 2% and Railway development levy of 1.5% are levied on value of imports as provided by the miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act of 2016.

  • Value Added Tax (VAT)

The normal rate of VAT is 16%. Items exempted from VAT attract a rate of 0%.

  •  Excise Duties

This depends on whether the item is excisable or not.

  •  Import Duties

Import tax rates vary between 0%, 10% and 25% as provided by the East Africa Community Common External Tariff. Sensitive items attract duty higher than 25%.

2. Clearing Agent

The importer will need to acquire the services of a licensed customs clearing agent who is mandated to process the importation documents in the customs system and assist in clearing goods on your behalf.

 The Following Is a List of Documents Required when Clearing Imported Goods:

  • Purchase orders/contracts.
  • Import Standards Mark when applicable.
  • Valid pro forma invoices from the exporting firm.
  • Bill of lading (sea cargo)/Airway bill (air cargo).
  • Letter of credit (if available).
  • Permit/license for restricted goods.
  • A Certificate of Conformity (CoC) from the PVoC agent for regulated products.
  • Certificate of road worthiness for motor vehicle.
  • Exemption letter (in case goods are exempted).
  • Logbook and its translation if it is not in English. (motor-vehicle).
  • Personal or taxpayer identification number (PIN certificate).
  • Valid commercial invoice from the exporting firm.
  • Certificate of origin.
  • Packing list.
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About the author

Muthoni Hungi is a Public Relations and Communications specialist based in Kenya.
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