With the Kenyan population growing immensely in the diaspora, there are several interests who would like to take advantage of the conducive economic environment back home. And even for those who are from other nationalities, it is clear that Kenya is one of the largest business hubs in Africa.
If Importation into Kenya is your next venture, you are in the right place. Mitchell Cotts will guide you through all the processes you need to make your business a success.
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Tips on How to import cargo into Kenya?
Cargo can be imported either through marine transportation or air transportation.
Through Air transportation, cargo may be carried on scheduled passenger planes, charter planes or on freight only aircraft. It is preferred for urgent cargo, perishable cargo or light cargo but it is comparatively more expensive. If a client prefers air transport they can contact their clearing and forwarding agent.
Marine transportation is the main mode of transport used to ship cargo in and out of Kenya because it is cheaper and convenient for heavy and bulky cargo. To organize marine transport, one will need to deal with a shipping agent. Shipping agents connect exporters/importers to the ship carriers that will carry his/her goods. One doesn’t need to get directly involved as your clearing and forwarding agent can do this for you.
The process of importing clothes, shoes (used or new) follows standardized import/export protocols established by ministry of trade under the laws of Kenya. The process of clearing your shoes or clothes container will follow the same process used to clear imported goods into Kenya with KRA & KPA. The only difference will be on import duty (high on shoes and clothes) and documentation.
Inland logistics, sea shipping to Mombasa is a step that should be considered before shipping goods to Kenya. Majority of used clothes and shoes suppliers are located in cities away from major sea ports. This means that your container must be hauled by a truck to the nearest major international port. Your tax and duty is based on Cost of your shoes or clothes, Insurance and Freight charges (CIF) must also be available for payment.
Once the cargo is in the port of Mombasa a client can choose to either clear his/her cargo by themselves with KPA/KRA which is a risky and costly process or chooses a reliable clearing and forwarding company.
If you are shipping commercial goods to Kenya, any shipments with an FOB (Free/ Freight On Board) value more than $5,000 USD, will be subject to inspection. Freight On Board means the cost of movement of goods on board of Airlines or on board of ship is borne by the seller. Rest of all expenses to arrive the goods at buyer’s premise has to be met by the buyer.
How to export cargo out of Kenya.
Before you can export items from Kenya, you need to complete and file the customs export declaration paperwork.
Commercial Invoice and packing list are required to complete the customs export declaration.
Copy of passport, Pin Certificate and packing list are required in the case of personal effects.
In order to export goods from Kenya, you will also need a commercial invoice and detailed packing list. If you are exporting certain items from Kenya, including minerals, wildlife products, plants, and livestock, you’ll need to make sure that you have an export permit.
Importing small cargo into Kenya.
As an exporter or importer, one will come across situations where you want to send a parcel to arrive at a destination within a few days or hours. Express or courier operators provide this service across the world. They facilitate movement of documents and small packages using scheduled airlines or their own carriers.
When one wants to select a courier service they should check for the following criteria;
♦Relations with the KRA Customs Services Department
♦ Membership of Courier Industry Association of Kenya (CIAK)
♦ Track and trace capabilities
♦ Security of shipments
The main courier services used are DHL and Fedex.