How to Import Goods into Kenya

by | Aug 3, 2016 | Business, International Trade | 0 comments

Kenya remains an import driven economy. As at the end of 2015, the country had a trade deficit of just under USD 10 billion. For many people, imports is big business. If you are looking to get into the import business or you have a one-time import requirement, this article takes you through the

documentation associated with the actual import process.

Kenya Import Documentation

A typical import transaction requires the following documents:

  1. Supplier’s invoice – Your supplier will provide you with the invoice for the goods sold to you. The invoice provides the details of the goods such as description of the goods, price and quantity.
  2. Packing list – Provides the details of the contents of a particular package. Also provided by the supplier.
  3. Bill of lading / airway bill – Document evidencing a contract of carriage of goods between a shipper and a carrier of goods (ship or airline). The supplier will send the document to you after s/he has passed the goods onto the carrier for shipping and they have acknowledged receipt.

  4. Import Declaration Form (IDF Form C-61) – Issued by the KRA Customs Services offices and is required for all imports. You will need to pay a processing fee of Kshs 5,000 minimum or 2.25 percent of the CIF value. The IDF is completed by the clearing agent who enters information such as the importer’s and exporter’s names and contacts, invoice details, description and quantity of the goods.
  5. Declaration of customs value (Form C- 52) – Issued by the Customs Services Department. As an importer, you are required to complete it and sign it to show that you have declared the true and accurate value of the imported goods.
  6. Certificates of compliance – Processed as required by the different authorities such as Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate (KEPHIS). Examples include certificate of conformity, certificate of analysis and phytosanitary certificate. These are issued by the competent authorities in the supplier’s country after inspecting the goods. The supplier will then send you the relevant certificate to show that the goods comply with the local requirements.
  7. Release Order – Issued by the port authority. This document allows the goods to be released to you or to your agent’s custody after verification and payment of the storage and other charges that may have accrued.


Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Handbook on Importing and Exporting in Kenya 

error: Content is protected !!